A Tayside patient was forced to wait 582 days for hip replacement surgery, new figures reveal.
The delay was the longest for all hip, knee and ankle operations in the country last year, according to Scottish Government data.
The Tories say it shines a light on the frailty of NHS Scotland in coping with the challenges of an ageing population.
Alarmingly, the four longest waits in Scotland in 2016 were found at NHS Tayside – all in excess of 500 days.
The biggest hold-up in Fife was 352 days.
The average wait in Tayside for orthopeadic treatment is 41% higher than the national figure.
Miles Briggs, for the Scottish Conservatives, which obtained the figures, said: “It’s utterly unacceptable that someone should have to wait more than 500 days for this kind of procedure.
“These are operations which can be life-changing, particularly for older patients, and having to wait the best part of two years is precious time wasted.
“The SNP has been told over the last decade just how pressing an issue an ageing population is for the NHS.
“But these warnings have not been heeded, and it’s vulnerable and elderly patients who are paying the price.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said long waits are rare and can relate to factors outwith their control.
“We would like to reassure patients that the current average elective surgery waiting time for orthopaedics is between 12 and 18 weeks and this is the case for the overwhelming majority of patients,” she said.
“This data shows ‘longest waits’ and these numbers refer to the rare occasions where individual patients are assessed by medical staff as being clinically unfit for surgery or where patients advise us that they are unavailable for surgery for personal reasons.
“In the cases where patients are deemed unfit, it may be that further clinical investigations need to be completed before the patient can have their surgery and, even during this time when patients are unavailable, they are still counted in our waiting times figures.”
She said the average waits by days “reflect a much more accurate position of waiting times for the vast majority of patients who require surgery in Tayside”.
In Tayside last year the average wait for orthopeadic treatment was 62 days, compared with 31 in Fife and 44 nationally.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We have been clear with all health boards that patients who are waiting for treatment such as elective surgery are seen as quickly as possible.
“We are working with NHS boards to help build up their capacity and will announce further investment to improve performance in the near future.
“Longer-term, we are also investing £200 million to create a network of five new elective and diagnostic treatment centres across Scotland, including one in Dundee.”