The number of knee replacement surgeries in the USA has been steadily increasing in the last decade. In 2010, more than 700,000 knee joint replacement (and more than 500,000 knee arthroscopic) surgeries were performed in the USA. With the aging of the Baby Boomers, this number is expected to increase sharply in the next decade as well. It is estimated than about half of all patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis will eventually have at least one knee replacement surgery.
With the number of knee replacement surgeries rapidly increasing, the prevalence of people living with knee replacements is increasing as well. This recent study estimated this prevalence to be over 4.2% of the population over age 50. That means that total knee replacement is more prevalent than rheumatoid arthritis and almost as prevalent as congestive heart failure. The authors also estimated that there are about 1.5 million Americans at risk of costly joint replacement revision surgery.
Total joint replacement surgeries are costly. They involve a prolonged and difficult recovery, and are associated with significant risks, including infections, metal toxicity, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition to that, a large percentage of patients who undergo knee replacement surgery continue with significant pain after the surgery. Patients who undergo joint replacement surgeries also have significant quadriceps (the muscle in front of the thigh) dysfunction. As many as one third of all knee replacement surgeries may be unnecessary. Luckily, the emergent field of regenerative medicine is giving many patients with osteoarthritis a new alternative to avoid joint replacement surgeries.
To learn more about non-surgical alternatives to joint surgeries go to: www.dontoperate.com