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Knee News

Tallying up Total Knee Replacements

In the United States all residents 65 years old or older are eligible or are on Medicare. This is the first report using Medicare claims to study the results of total knee replacements (TKRs).

By using Medicare claims, researchers could count how many adults over 65 have a TKR each year. They also looked at number and type of problems after the surgery. Here are the results:

  • More than 350,000 people had a TKR in the year 2000.
  • Whites have more TKRs than blacks.
  • Women have more TKRs than men until age 90.
  • Blacks have more problems after the surgery.
  • The most common complications in the first 90 days are death, blood clots, infection, pneumonia, and heart attack.
  • There are more problems after a revision TKR.
  • Men and women most likely to have a TKR are between the ages of 75 and 79 years old.
  • Death rate is very low (0.7 percent after primary TKR; 1.4 percent after revision TKR).
  • More men die than women after TKR.

    Medicare claims data report the facts but don't explain the reasons. More study is needed to understand the trends found in this study.

    Nizar N. Mahomed, MD, ScD, et al. Epidemiology of Total Knee Replacement in the United States Medicare Population. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. June 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 6. Pp. 1222-1228.


    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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