Southmead leads the way with major research into improving patients’ experiences after total joint replacement

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bristol’s Southmead Hospital has been chosen to lead a major new piece of research that could potentially benefit patients needing total joint replacements all over the world.

The hospital’s Avon Orthopaedic Centre is one of the country’s leading specialist centres for joint replacements including those for hips and knees.
The Government has given the centre a grant of £2.1 million to conduct the research over the next few years.

This is the biggest grant ever given for a research project of this kind in the UK.
There are two parts to the study.

The first measures, from a patient’s view, what has been successful or, in their opinion, unsuccessful, about their joint replacement – before and after surgery.
The second study examines levels of pain experienced by the patient for a set period of time after their operation.

Half the patients will be given the usual anaesthetic injection and the other half, in addition to the usual anaesthetic, will be given local anaesthetic injections into the wound itself during surgery.

After the 600 patients needed for the study have gone through this process, researches will then look at the effects these two different types of pain relief administration have had both in the short-term and long-term.

Professor Ashley Blom, Orthopaedic Consultant is leading the research project.

He said: “It really is an honour for Southmead to have been chosen by the Government to lead this ground-breaking study, the potential benefits of which could influence and change the way that orthopaedic surgeons carry out total joint replacements for many years to come.
“The overall aim of the research is to see if we can improve the patient’s experience and reduce levels of pain after the operation itself.
“Anyone coming through the Avon Orthopaedic Centre in the next few years for a total knee or hip replacement is eligible to take part.

This is open to patients from North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (many of which are operated on at Southmead).”

All total joint replacement patients would have received a letter about the trials with their appointment letter and representatives from the study are present in clinics and outpatient areas if people would like to find out more.

Prof Blom said: “We’ve already had a good response so far from patients but we need lots more to sign up.

If you are coming to Southmead for a total joint replacement and would like to find out more about the trial, we would love to hear from you.”
If you would like to take part in the trial, please talk to your consultant or one of the research study representatives in clinic. Alternatively please call 0117 323 2291.