Frequently asked questions about arthritis and joint replacement

Ever wonder how many joint  replacement procedures are performed each year, if replacement surgery is permanent or how many men and women suffer from arthritis? Here are some answers to questions about hip and knee replacement surgery.

 How many Americans suffer from arthritis?

 Forty-three million Americans report that a doctor told them they have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.  Another 23 million people have chronic joint symptoms but have not been diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of more than 16 million adults.

 Does arthritis affect more men or women?

More women suffer from arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 25.9 million women have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, while 16.8 million men have the condition.

 Is arthritis a disease of the elderly?

 “Baby boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.”

Are there non-surgical options to managing arthritis?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), non-surgical treatment options can be divided into four categories, including:

      • health and behavior modifications, such as physical therapy and exercise, weight loss and education
      • drug therapy, such as pain relievers or COX-2 inhibitors (drugs that interrupt the cycle of inflammation
      • intra-articular (within the joint) treatments, such as injections
      • alternative therapies such as herbal remedies, acupuncture or magnet therapy
      • What are glucosamine and chondroitin?

They are nutritional supplements that are sold over the counter in health food stores and pharmacies. Some persons with osteoarthritis of the knee take glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for pain relief. 

Follow this link for more information from our website:

Joint Replacement Surgery:

 When did surgeons first start performing joint replacement surgery?

 Modern-day joint replacement surgery has been performed in the United States since the 1970s - helping hundreds of thousands of individuals regain their mobility.

 How many hip and knee replacements occur each year?

 More than 800,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries were performed in 2004 in the United States. If trends continue then we will be performing about 2,000,000 joints replacements by 2015

 Is joint replacement surgery permanent?

 According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), "More than 90 percent of people who have replacement surgery will never need revision surgery. However, because more younger people are having hip replacements, and wearing away of the joint surface becomes a problem after 15 to 20 years, revision surgery is becoming more common."

 What are the benefits of joint replacement surgery?

 The benefits of joint replacement surgery include pain relief, better use of the joint and increased flexibility, and better alignment of a deformed joint. The goal is to return patients to pain free active life style. 

 Is joint replacement surgery safe?

 Joint replacement surgery is very safe, with a complication rate of less than 2%. Although the majority of joint replacement surgeries in the United States are performed without complications, there are some known risks to having this procedure. Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of this operation with their orthopaedic surgeon.

Visit our patient education page for more information on hip and knee replacements.

For more information see the attached links: (hip replacement) and (knee replacement)