Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 09, 2012
The Doctors Health Press, a publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a study that looked at knee replacement surgeries in the U.S. The study revealed an upswing in the number of total knee replacement surgeries in the U.S.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin notes (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/a-revealing-look-at-knee-replacement), knee replacement is a very common, safe surgery used to relieve severe pain and disability caused by knee osteoarthritis, thus improving quality of life. While common, it is also pricey—at about $15,000 a pop. The study found that there are 600,000 total knee replacements a year in the U.S., leading to a total cost of $9.0 billion.
As the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, “A Revealing Look at Knee Replacement,” outlines, in any event, researchers looked at trends in total knee replacement surgery throughout the ‘90s and the last decade. They found a huge swell in the number of surgeries, caused by older Americans and a greater desire for knees that withstand the effects of aging. Among adults over 65, the surgery rate has doubled in 20 years.
The article states that the surgery is well-tolerated and permits older adults to keep a more active lifestyle. That is an important point, as it is well known that exercise into one’s twilight years helps one live longer.
The article also reports that studying millions of Medicare patients over 65, researchers found that the number of first-time total knee replacement surgeries went from 93,230 in 1991 to 243,802 in 2012. For people who needed a follow-up total knee replacement surgery, the numbers increased by 60% over that same 20 years.
As well, the article notes that the length of time one stays in hospital for total knee replacement surgery is dropping, from an average of eight days in 1991 to four days in 2012. But this has caused an uptick in patients being readmitted after discharge because something has gone wrong during their recoveries.
The article goes on to explain the procedure, stating that first, it is for a person whose knee joint has severe damage, with pain and limited function. Surgeons replace the joint with artificial material. The end of the thighbone is equipped with a metal shell and the end of the lower leg bone has a plastic piece with a metal stem. It all fits together to provide a range of motion just like a healthy knee. The artificial bits are called the prosthesis.
(SOURCE: Cram, P., et al., “Total Knee Arthroplasty Volume, Utilization, and Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries, 1991-2010.” JAMA 2012; 308(12): 1,227–1,236. )
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin is a daily e-letter providing natural health news with a focus on natural healing through foods, herbs and other breakthrough health alternative treatments. For more information on Doctors Health Press, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com.
The Doctors Health Press believes in the healing properties of various alternative remedies, including Traditional Chinese Medicine. To see a video outlining the Doctors Health Press' views on Traditional Chinese Medicine, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/chinesemedicine.