American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting: Prevalence of Joint Replacement Surgery

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) just wrapped up their 2014 annual meeting in New Orleans.  With extensive lectures on groundbreaking new research, advancements in the field, and updated national statistics the AAOS meeting revealed many exciting areas for the future of Orthopedics, but also shed light on some hard truths.  According to research presented at the meeting, a staggering 7 million Americans have an artificial joint, either knee (4.7 million) or hip (2.5 million). In addition, national studies revealed an increasing number of people under the age of 65 undergoing total knee replacement (TKR) or total hip replacements (THR).

 One very interesting article, “Prevalence of Total Hip and Total Knee Arthroplasty in the United States”, quantified the prevalence of TKR and THR in the United States over a forty year period.  The study found .8% of Americans are living with a prosthetic hip, while 1.5% of Americans have an artificial knee.  California, Florida, and Texas were the three states with the highest number of hip and knee replacements.  In addition, it was revealed that by 80 years old, 6% of the population had undergone a THR, while nearly 10% had a TKR.

Dr. Daniel Berry, Professor of Orthopeadics at Mayo Clinic, responded to the alarming statistics by saying,

”To put these numbers in perspective, there are roughly one and a half times as many people living with a hip or knee replacement in the US as people living with heart failure.”

The American Journal of Orthopedics discussed two other related studies at the annual meeting, “Trends in Total Hip Arthroplasty in the United States: The Shift to a Younger Demographic” and “Trends in Total Knee Arthroplasty in the United States: Understanding the Shift to a Younger Demographic”, which conducted retrospective analysis of Total hip and total knee replacements from 2000 – 2009. The study found that the incidence of TKR increased by 120% from 2000 to 2009, while the incidence of THR increased by 73%.  However, in patients aged 45-64, the incidence of TKR increased 188%, while the incidence of THR increased 123%.  What these statistics mean is that, not only are more patients receiving joint replacement surgery, but significantly more patients are receiving joint replacement surgery at a much younger age.  According to the American Journal of Orthopedics, the study attributed the increase in THR and TKR primarily to “ the disproportionate growth in the rate of utilization among younger patients, and secondarily by overall population growth.”

 With the increased prevalence of joint replacement surgery and increased incidence in younger demographics, the development of non-surgical alternatives to delay joint replacement and decrease the symptoms of arthritis are imperative.  Orthobiologic treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate  (BMC) have emerged as potentially viable treatments for Arthritis, which is the main contributor to joint replacement surgery. By utilizing the regenerative potential within in the body’s own cells, Orthobiologics have emerged as a potential middle ground between conservative treatments and surgical options.  Check out the website to read about the extensive research on PRP and BMC, as well as the patient testimonials for more anecdotal evidence supporting the application of Orthobiologics in degenerative diseases.

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