Orthopaedic Issues and Patient Quality of Life

Orthopaedic complaints or conditions can have a negative impact on a patient's quality of life. Discover how orthopaedic treatments may help improve symptoms and the patient's well-being.

Orthopaedic Issues and Patient Quality of Life

Written by Chloe Gale

Medical Review by Medical Quality Officer, David Jones , MPharm

Published: Friday 21 October 2022

Whether it be through injury or the development of a condition, a patient’s need to have orthopaedic care differs from individual to individual. There can be many reasons behind wanting to have orthopaedic issues addressed, which can all impact a patient’s quality of life in different ways. Pain and mobility affect so many factors of a patient’s life; let’s discuss the various areas of life that may benefit from having orthopaedic problems treated.

Pain & discomfort

Pain and discomfort can have a huge knock-on effect on the way we feel, how we interact with others and what we’re able to achieve in a day. Pain management medication may alleviate some of the issues, but if pain continues for prolonged periods, patients may find themselves withdrawing from things they love to do, or their mood may be negatively impacted, affecting those around them. Patients often talk about “powering through” or “not wishing to make a fuss”, but that may only worsen the symptoms of the injury or condition. Talking to your GP may be the first step, or arranging a consultation with an orthopaedic specialist to see what can be done to reduce or even eliminate any pain felt.


We all know that groggy and irritating feeling after having less than a great night’s sleep, but if this is continuous due to discomfort or not being able to sleep in your most comfortable position, there may be implications. Patients with disturbed sleep may start to notice their focus and attention span wavering, feeling low or cranky, and it may even start to affect their general health. The NHS typically recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults. Whilst individuals may require more or less; it’s important to have uninterrupted sleep. Seeking orthopaedic care, be it physiotherapy or surgery, may be able to correct the orthopaedic condition and allow for more comfortable sleep.


When mobility is challenged, it becomes very clear just how reliant we are on our bodies. Everyday things like walking, climbing stairs, cleaning, cooking, and driving are things we do without even thinking about, but once those are compromised by stiffness, pain or inability to place weight on joints, a patient’s quality of life can be greatly affected. To suddenly find yourself reliant on others around you or having to bow out of activities can be distressing. Often our homes, workplaces and public spaces are not equipped to deal with changes in mobility, so patients are left having to plan ahead, which can be exhausting on top of dealing with the orthopaedic complaint as well. Patients are advised to talk to their GP or physiotherapist or seek help from an orthopaedic specialist to discuss what options are available to them that may improve their mobility and see them make a return to their daily activities.

women exercising

Exercise and Sports

Physical activities can be a huge part of people’s lives, whether for social, personal enjoyment or health reasons; being able to play team sports, go to the gym or run in the park has a big impact on someone’s well-being. So when individuals are unable to continue their chosen activity, it can negatively affect their social life and mental and physical health. Often patients may have experienced an injury whilst exercising; however, it doesn’t mean that rules them out from returning to that activity. It’s important not to ignore prolonged pain or discomfort after sustaining an injury and to talk to a doctor if they’re feeling a complaint or condition is affecting the participation in sports they love to do. Patients find that following orthopaedic treatment such as physiotherapy, non-surgical, and surgical care, they are often able to resume activities, following their surgeon’s recommendations.

Family, Friends and Socialising

Alongside work, we all have activities that we like to do with friends and family, and it may be difficult to have this hindered by an orthopaedic injury or complaint. Patients may find they have to consider if they are up to socialising because of accessibility, pain or tiredness. Even something as simple as going to the cinema or theatre may not be possible if the seating doesn’t allow someone to be comfortable. Losing any aspects of socialising can add to negative feelings and make individuals feel cut off from others and held back by their condition or injury. It may be upsetting for parents and grandparents to find they can’t lift their children like they used to or engage in intimate activities with their partner because their orthopaedic issue won’t allow it. It’s important for patients to be honest with their surgeons so they can understand the activities and requirements of their day-to-day lives, so the surgeon can better tailor their care.

elderly people walking in the woods

Mental Health

Everything mentioned above has a knock-on effect on an individual’s mental health. Our lives are complex, and change can be detrimental to the enjoyment we experience in our day-to-day life. If patients are feeling low or struggling with their mental health, it’s important to speak to someone; reaching out for support could really help in the healing process prior to, during and after orthopaedic care. It can be easy to feel like you don’t wish to burden friends or family, but patients should know they don’t have to suffer silently.

All our Medbelle Patient Care Advisers are also on-hand to discuss all options available in terms of orthopaedic care, help support you and take the stress out of administration and appointment booking. Your quality of life can improve, and with our expert consultant surgeons and highly-experienced physiotherapists, we’re able to offer patients around the UK a fast track to highly-quality orthopaedic care, thereby positively impacting their quality of life.

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