About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents data on the number of arthroplasty (joint replacement) operations in Scotland between 2001 and 2022 and on the frequency of complications such as infection or revision surgery following hip and knee replacements.

Main points

  • Arthroplasty operations continue to improve towards pre-pandemic levels where 11,175 first (primary) hip or knee replacements were performed in Scotland in 2022 compared to 8,568 in 2021.
Image caption Number of primary hip and knee arthroplasty procedures per year (2001 to 2022)
  • The independent sector is now reporting as the largest provider of primary hip and knee arthroplasty procedures in Scotland compared to the level of activity at individual NHS Boards.
  • The percentage of patients who died within 90 days of a knee replacement increased from 0.2% in 2020 to 0.3% in 2022. Hip replacement deaths remained at 0.3% during the same period.


The Scottish Arthroplasty Project (SAP) remains one of the oldest arthroplasty registry organisations in the world. It is a member of the International Society of Arthroplasty Registries and, in comparison to many other countries, it is able to produce good quality data for a very modest outlay. The principal aim of SAP is providing quality assurance and adverse outcome monitoring of major joint replacement surgery in Scotland.

The Scottish Arthroplasty Project analyses hospital inpatient information to monitor the number of complications following hip and knee replacements in Scotland, and to ensure that surgeons performing these operations do not have a higher-than-expected complication rate. Where there is a higher-than-expected number of complications following operations performed by a particular surgeon, the surgeon is notified and asked to investigate the reasons for the increased rate in complications and to develop an action plan to reduce their recurrence.

Further information

Further information can be found on the Scottish Arthroplasty Project website (external website).

The next update of this publication will be 10 September 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Martin O'Neill at phs.arthroplasty@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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