Absolute Knee Replacement in America

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Novel research presented at the Yearly Meeting of the AAOS discovered that more than 4.5 million people in America live with an absolute knee replacement. This figure of TKR (Total knee replacement) has mounted over the past decade, with sharp rise among the younger patients. The primary reason for TKR is osteoarthritis. The investigators from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons used the following to determine the figure of individuals living with TKR:

  • US census data
  • Computer model
  • Information from National Health Survey
  • Literature
  • Multi centre Osteoarthritis
  • Other National Data

The study was financed by the US National Institutes of Arthritis and skin disease and Musculoskeletal. It found that more than 4.5 million Americans are presently living with minimum one TKR. This demonstrates 4.7 percent of the individuals of 50 years or above which is higher than the national rates for rheumatoid arthritis and congestive heart failure. In addition, this study had following findings also:

  • The prevalence of osteoarthritis is elevated in females and hence the TKR rates are also high. The figure is 5.3 percent in contrast to 4.1 percent in males.
  • Amid the individuals with age of 60-69, nearly 4.1 percent of males and 4.8 percent of females have TKR. Amid the ages of 70-79, 7.1 percent of males and 8.2 percent of females have had at least one TKR.
  • Nearly ten percent of the Americans with age of 80 years and above live with a TKR.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in Total Knee Replacement, “the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint. The surgery can cause scarring, blood clots and, rarely, infections. After a knee replacement, you will no longer be able to do certain activities, such as jogging and high-impact sports.”

There is drastic increase in the number of TKR, says Elena Losina, the principle researcher. She says that by know they have many individuals who are living with TKR and this has led to prominent increase in the probability of complications and revisions in the younger patients. The results may help in anticipation of the future challenges which are associated with the treatment access, follow up care and health care costs.



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