February 2002 Bulletin

Number of arthroplasties to increase dramatically

Total joint replacement surgery is widely recognized as one of the most cost-effective interventions in medicine today, and the impact of these procedures on quality of life has been well documented. However, despite extensive testing, premature failures of orthopaedic devices do occur.

While revision rates seem to remain constant over time, the number of arthroplasties is expected to increase dramatically in coming years given wider acceptance of joint replacement, growth of senior population, and the incidence of arthritis. Despite these statistics and factors, there is currently no comprehensive, national system in place to track, monitor and disseminate information about hip and knee implant utilization and the long-term outcomes of joint replacements.

Source: Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, October 2001

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