Knee and Hip Replacement

by T. Lee

What do you get when you combine an aging population with a gaining population?

Hip and knee replacements.

As baby boomers age and acquire arthritis, and as obesity continues to rage among the younger population, knees and hips are wearing out at an unprecedented rate. And as they wear out, they are being replaced at an unprecedented rate.

Arthritis is usually associated with aging, and the grinding down of cartilage at the joints. But cartilage can also be ground down by excessive weight placed on the joint by obesity.

Today, both populations of arthritis patients are growing, as baby boomers hit retirement and obesity grows in the general American population.

Arthritis can cause stiffness, swelling, and general joint pain, restricting, or even severely limiting, patient mobility. When pain-killers cease to help, join replacement surgery is a popular option. Titanium joints can last 10 or so years before they need to be replaced, and drastically reduce pain and increase mobility close to ordinary activity levels.

Between 2000 and 2004, there was a 53% increase in knee replacements and a 37% increase in hip replacements. According to a report by Dr. Sunny Kim at the Florida International University, if these trends persist, there will be 1.4 million knee replacements performed in the year 2015 alone. The cost to health care providers would be enormous.

22. May 2008 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Aging, Rehab | Leave a comment