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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Knee Replacement Surgery Soars

January 20, 2012

(Ivanhoe Newswire)- The number of yearly incidences of partial and total knee surgeries has risen rapidly among women ages 30-59, with a particularly high increase among women 50-59 according to researchers in Finland.

The culprit causing the need for these surgeries is osteoarthritis (OA), a highly disabling joint disease.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoarthritis is the fourth leading cause of years lived with a disability. Experts say more than 10 million adults are affected by osteoarthritis in the U.S. The disease is characterized by disabling pain and stiffness. Knee replacement surgery, arthroplasty, is sometimes the only treatment option for those with advanced disease.

“O.A. risk is shown to increase with age,”  Dr. Jarrko Leskinen, an orthopedic surgeon at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland and lead author of the study was quoted as saying. Findings indicate a 130-fold increase in incidence of total knee replacement among those between the ages of  30 and 59 years. The study took place over a 27 year period. The incidence increased from 0.5 to 65 operations per 100,000 individuals, with the most rapid increase occurring from 2001-2006, in which the incidence was 18 to 65 operations per 100,000 people. During the last ten years of the study, the incidence of total knee replacements was higher in women than in men. The oldest age group studied, ages 50 to 59 years, had overall the highest incidence of total knee replacements compared to other age groups.

SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatism, January 2012