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Orthopedics Surgery on the Rise Among Younger Patients

Younger patients are seeking orthopedics surgery for joint pain, joint injuries and related problems in increasing numbers, according to a recent report from CNN. Among those seeking elective hip replacements, knee replacements and other orthopedic surgery, young men outnumber women. This change in patient demographics was discovered through a study that was presented at the annual meeting of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in March 2018.

When asked why there seems to be a growing trend of orthopedic surgeries and related treatments among younger patients, some orthopedic specialists suggested that it may be due to several factors. They cite increasing obesity in certain populations–excess weight places extra strain on joints. They also cite improved orthopedic treatments and better healthcare access as motivators for more people to seek treatment.

Perhaps the most important factor impacting demographics is that younger generations of people have been physically active or athletic since their adolescence, and have remained active through adulthood. The cultural trend to remain healthy and fit through adulthood has led to a higher number of joint injuries, and more arthritic joint damage. It appears there are greater numbers of fitness-oriented adults seeking to keep their joints functioning well so they can maintain an active lifestyle as they age, continuing through their retirement years.

The report indicated that although women continue to make up the majority of orthopedic patients across the United States, men seem to be ones who are undergoing more joint replacement surgeries.

What is joint replacement?

CNN writer Susan Scutti reports that total joint replacement involves removing parts of a damaged or arthritic joint and replacing those parts with a metal, plastic or ceramic prosthesis that can replicate the movements of a healthy joint. Joint replacement surgeries are typically performed on hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists. According to statistics, the most common joint replacement procedures in the U.S. are total knee replacements, which number roughly 700,000 per year. Total hip replacements account for roughly 400,000 joint procedures per year, Scutti reports.

Orthopedic doctors also suggest that joint replacement operations have improved over time, with advanced arthroscopy procedures resulting in better outcomes for patients. This encourages more patients to seek orthopedics surgery sooner. The changing view among a younger generation appears to be: Why wait, if early treatment means I can remain active without unnecessary pain?

Industry News: Orthopedics

This is curated content. To learn more about changing trends in orthopedics and joint care, read the full story at: 
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/06/health/hip-knee-replacement-surgeries-earlier-study/index.html 

Source: “More men, younger Americans having joint replacement surgery.” By Susan Scutti, CNN, March 2018.

Image Credit: miVIP Surgery Centers and iStock

PUBLISHED 20 Jul, 2018

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