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Research explores popularity, cost of total knee replacement surgery

When it comes to elder care, many people in their old age have difficulty moving around. However, the medical community has developed surgical treatment methods that could assist in one’s mobility, and it appears to be increasing in popularity.

A recent study from the University of Iowa suggests that total knee replacement surgeries have more than doubled over the past two decades, with more than 600,000 procedures completed each year. The study’s authors report that a reason behind the growth could be that there are more older Americans than before.

Although the procedure continues to boom, it’s an expensive commitment. Researchers say that a total knee replacement is approximately $15,000 per procedure, and the annual cost is around $9 billion.

“This is an incredibly effective surgery. Although it is a major surgery, it is extremely well tolerated and it allows people to remain active as they age,” said Peter Cram, UI professor of internal medicine and lead study author. “But the increase in numbers means that this procedure represents a major health care expense for the Medicare program.”

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