Knee Osteoarthritis: Guidelines for Surgery

Knee Osteoarthritis: Guidelines for Surgery

According to current estimates, 27 million adults in the United States—or more than 10% of the adult population—have clinical osteoarthritis, a condition that ranks among the leading causes of hospitalization. Recent estimates show that approximately 9.9 million adults have symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. With life expectancy rates continuing to rise, it is anticipated that the prevalence of knee OA will increase in the coming years. The number of people older than age 65 is expected to increase to more than 77 million by the year 2040. The burden of OA of the knee is largely attributable to the effects of disability, comorbid disease, and the expense of treatment. OA is the most frequent cause of disability among U.S. adults, and the burden is increasing due to the rising disease prevalence as well as higher expectations among patients to receive effective treatment. OA is the leading indication for joint replacement surgery. About 905,000 knee and hip replacements were performed in 2009, costing the healthcare system $42.3 billion. These estimates factor together direct medical, long-term medical, home modification, and nursing home costs.   OA Risk Factors & Disease Clinical studies have identified several factors that increase risks for developing OA of the knee to the point that surgery is required. These include joint degeneration over time due to hereditary vulnerability, large body mass, certain occupations, past joint traumas, and prior intraarticular damage. Knee OA also takes an emotional and physical toll on patients. Older adults with OA of the knee tend to visit their physicians more frequently and experience more functional limitations than others in the same age group....