Knee Replacements Double In 10 Years, Study Says
The Associated Press: Nearly 1 In 20 US Adults Over 50 Have Fake Knees
More than 4 million Americans over 50 have artificial knees, according to a new study. ... "These data are sobering because we didn't know what an army of people we've created over the last decade," said study author Elena Losina, co-director of the Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. ... Artificial knees also wear out after a period of time, so as the operations are increasingly done on younger Americans, many will live long enough to almost certainly need a second or even third knee replacement (Tanner, 2/10).
ABC News: Knee Replacements Double in 10 Years, Study Says
Advances in technology and improvements in surgical techniques have made the surgery more successful in recent years, although patients run the risk of infections and scar tissue development after the surgery. The procedure requires several days in the hospital, weeks of rehabilitation and costs about $40,000 (Gann, 2/10).
USA Today: Baby Boomers' Demand, Expectations For New Knees Soar
Revisions are more costly, complicated and risky, the report notes. They cost about $27,000, compared with the original surgery (about $20,000) and are riskier and more complicated. Most are covered by insurance, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Losina says the report will help the nation grasp the "substantial health burden" posed by those with knee replacements. The principal diagnosis is osteoarthritis. Despite manufacturers' suggestions that some prosthetic joints will last 30-plus years, Losina says there are no studies to support those claims (Lloyd, 2/10).