The High Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery

The High Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery 645d51f314b17.png

The High Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery

Of all of the different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting over 30 million adults in the United States alone.

And knee osteoarthritis, which used to be considered just a normal wear and tear associated with aging, affects more than just the elderly.

In fact, according to a study called The Framingham Osteoarthritis Study, published in Arthritis Rheumatology, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis affects at least 4.3% of men and 8.1% of women of all ages.

So it’s not just the wear and tear of age and time.

That being said, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis does predominantly affect individuals over the age of 65, with roughly half of the people experiencing a life-limiting physical disability as a result.

According to estimates from the Framingham Osteoarthritis Study, the number of individuals over the age of 65 is projected to rise to 78 million by 2035 from 49.2 million in 2016. This means the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis will potentially skyrocket as well.

In fact, according to an article published by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative, entitled The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States the number of Americans receiving a total knee arthroplasty (also known as knee replacement surgery) was over 4.7 million individuals in 2010 with the overall trend being of increasing prevalence over time.

The rising number of individuals both young and old suffering from knee osteoarthritis pain is not only a hindrance to the quality of life for millions of people, but it is also expensive.

According to the aforementioned article by the United State Bone and Joint Initiative, the annual total hospitalization charges for knee replacement surgery nearly quadrupled from $8.1 billion in 1998 to $38.5 billion in 2011!

Furthermore, from that, they also estimated that the average lifetime direct medical cost for treatment for individuals diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis is estimated to be $12,400 or 10% of all estimated direct medical expenses for those individuals.

Most of these costs are attributed to knee replacement surgeries which on average cost around $20,293, and for patients that require revision surgery, the additional costs on top of the initial surgery cost, average $29,388.

Fortunately, medical advancements have been made in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, which can effectively lower these costs. One of the key advancements is a treatment procedure for knee osteoarthritis called Genicular Artery Embolization.

In our next article, we will take a look at this effective and more affordable outpatient procedure.

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