Considering surgery for osteoarthritis

senior woman speaking to a physician

Joint replacement surgery is considered when conservative management strategies, such as exercise, weight control, and pain management, are not enough to manage your symptoms.

Decide if surgery is right for you

Ask yourself these questions to find out if surgery is something you should consider:

  • Is your osteoarthritis stopping you from enjoying daily activities?
  • Do you feel depressed or isolated because of pain or the loss of independence?
  • Are you unable to control your pain with medications or other methods, like applying heat or ice?
  • Are you ready to prepare for surgery by exercising, losing weight, and protecting your joints?
  • Are you committed to your recovery?
  • Will you follow your physiotherapist's advice about taking care of your new joints and give yourself time to recover?

Get a referral to a surgeon

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of surgery and find out if surgery is right for you. Your doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for a consultation if appropriate.

In VCH, orthopedic surgeons work with Advanced Practice Physiotherapists (APPs) to triage and see patients most efficiently within the Hip and Knee Surgical Assessment Program (ASAP) program.  Once referred, you will be contacted for an appointment.

Optimize your health before surgery

When you are considering or waiting for surgery, building strength, losing weight, managing your pain and making changes to your home are all strategies that will protect your joints. These changes can also have a positive impact on the success of your surgery. 

Learn about strategies for managing osteoarthritis.

Attend the OASIS Early Preparation for Surgery class

Early Preparation for Surgery education gives you the information to begin setting goals to help you prepare for your surgery. These classes are for people who are considering hip or knee replacement surgery, are waiting to see a surgeon or are on the surgical waitlist.

Learn how to prepare for your surgery through exercise, managing your pain effectively and setting up your home. The Early Preparation for Surgery class is offered by webinar and in-person (within VCH).

Early Preparation for Surgery classes schedule

After you have a surgery date

You will be contacted ASAP to attend a PreOp class 2-4 weeks before surgery. You must prepare your home and get special equipment before your surgery.

Visit the Hip and Knee Arthritis Surgical Assessment Program (ASAP) to learn more about the required equipment and how you will use it after surgery. Videos about joint replacement surgery are also available. 


    • Steps to Success - Joint Replacement Surgery

      Dr. Nelson Greidanus discusses what to consider and how to ensure the best possible outcome.

    • Joint Replacement - The Patient Experience

      People who have had joint replacement talk about their experiences.

    • Recovery after joint replacement surgery

      Learn more about recovery from joint replacement surgery from people who have had the surgery.