June 1999 Bulletin

Future demand for orthopaedic skills to soar

A look into the future produces an eye-opening view of the demand for the skills of orthopaedic surgeons.

Assuming there are no breakthrough preventative treatments for the conditions that lead to total knee and total hip arthroplasty, by the year 2030 there will be an estimated:

The estimates by the Academy's department of research and scientific affairs are based on projections of the 1996 arthroplasty incidence rates and U.S. Bureau of Census population projection that by 2030 one-in-five Americans will be age 65 and older. A breakdown of the senior citizen group shows 10.8 percent of the population will be age 65 to 74; 6.8 percent, 75 to 84; and 2.4 percent 85 and older. Twenty-one percent of the total female population will be age 65 and older and 18.7 percent of all men will in the senior citizen category.

In 1996, there were 157,000 total knee arthroplasty procedures for women and 88,000 for men. Five years from now, knee arthroplasty procedures for women are expected to begin to skyrocket, rising from 172,000 a year in 2005 to 204,000 in 2015 and 274,000 a year in 2030. Total knee arthroplasty procedures for men are projected to rise from 102,000 a year in 2005 to 127,000 in 2015 and 179,000 by 2030.

The research department reported that in 1996 there were 81,000 total hip arthroplasties for women and 57,000 for men. In 10 years, the number of hip arthroplasty procedures for women will total 95,000 a year, rising to 143,000 a year in 2030. An estimated 73,000 hip arthroplasty procedures for men is expected in 2010, increasing to 106,000 a year in 2030.

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