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When to Have That Joint Replacement?
Date:2/25/2009

and knee function when compared with men of the same ethnicity.

The reasons for these disparities, Dr. Slover says, are unclear.

"As a next step, we need to try and understand why certain groups tend to wait longer before having surgery," he says. "Do they have less access to the necessary care? Is it an insurance issue? Is there something in their culture or mindset that makes them wait longer before pursuing treatment?

We need to know why this occurs, because if it is an issue of outreach and education, we as orthopaedic surgeons can help address the problem and help patients get the appropriate care and treatment."

Joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is considered by many to be one of the most successful medical innovations of the 20th century. Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the patient's natural joint is replaced with an artificial one, made of a combination of plastic, metal, and/or ceramic.

The most common reasons for this surgery are pain and stiffness that limit normal activities such as walking and bending and that cannot be satisfactorily treated with medications or other therapies. Therefore, joint replacement surgery often provides a significantly improved quality of life to patients who would otherwise have to live with severe pain.

More than 400,000 primary total hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, and that number is on the rise -- particularly as the Baby Boomer population continues to age. Because of this trend, it is important to optimize patient outcomes.

Disclosure: Dr. Slover and his co-authors received no compensation for this study.


SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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