Study: Hip, knee replacement surgery rates soaring

Over the past seven years, implanting artificial knee and hip joints has become extremely common, and could become so popular that the system can't absorb the demand, researchers project. A recent study appearing in the journal Arthritis Care & Research concluded that primary hip replacements increased 48 percent between 1997 and 2004, from 153,080 procedures in 1997 to 225,900 in 2004. Meanwhile, first-time knee replacements grew 63 percent, from 264,331 in '97 to 431,485 in '04. At this rate, providers will perform an estimated 600,000 hip replacements and 1.4 million knee replacements in 2015. Experts who study the growth in such procedures say that the rise of obesity in the U.S. is the main reason for the uptick, but improvements in the procedure have made physicians more comfortable recommending such surgeries.

To learn more about the study:
- read this AMNews article

Related Article:
A growing number of knee- and hip-replacement surgeries are being done in India

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