Knee replacement business is booming

The knee replacement business is booming. Media reports cite an expected 525 percent increase by 2030, according to the November issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.

The newsletter describes reasons for this increase, new techniques for knee replacement, and who might benefit. Highlights include:

  • Knee replacements are increasing because people are living longer and, to remain active, want the procedure done sooner rather than later.
  • An increasing number of people who have advanced arthritis -- which could be related to ever-rising rates of obesity -- likely is contributing to the demand for knee replacement.
  • Today’s artificial knees are significantly improved over early versions, which were little more than basic hinges. A surgeon can choose a design that’s suited to the size and needs of each patient.
  • Some artificial knee joints have been marketed specifically for women, but there’s no clear evidence that a gender-specific knee implant is more effective. Many implants are manufactured in sizes that fit a woman’s knee but aren’t necessarily labeled a woman’s implant.
  • Several procedures are used to fix a damaged knee. Minimally invasive knee replacement is a newer type of total knee replacement, with different techniques to expose the joint. The incisions are smaller and recovery times may be quicker.
  • More than 95 percent of people who have total knee replacement achieve significant pain relief, improved mobility and better overall quality of life.

Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource is published monthly to help women enjoy healthier, more productive lives. Revenue from subscriptions is used to support medical research at Mayo Clinic. To subscribe, please call 800-876-8633, extension 9751, or visit www.bookstore.mayoclinic.com.

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