Findings presented by the American Academy Of Orthopedic Surgeons at this year’s annual meeting indicate that over four and a half million Americans have undergone and are living with total knee replacements (TKR). In the past ten years the prevalence of TKR surgeries has increased more than 200%, with a noticeable increase in younger patients. The primary reason for TKR is osteoarthritis.
The study found that more than 4.5 million Americans are now living with a minimum of one TKR. This accounts for nearly 5% of the population over age 50 making it more pervasive than heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. This prevalence is higher in women than in men and 10% of those who reach 80 or older are living with a TKR.
The co-director of the Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA agreed that rate at which knee replacement is growing is truly alarming. As the prevalence of the specific surgery explodes, we may see a comparable growth in the number of revisions and complications. For patients who are young, there will be an even higher possibility of the need for revisions later in life.
It’s important to offer more treatments in order to delay this surgery in younger patients including PRP, bone marrow aspirate, viscosupplementation, bracing, and more. We are developing new treatments to help the nearly 5 million Americans living with a joint prosthetic like neural prolotherapy. This study confirms the epidemic we anticipated, but fortunately new treatments are on the horizon.