Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joint Replacements Expected to Soar

The number of knee replacements done annually in the U.S. will jump 525% by 2030. You read correctly: 525%. This prediction comes out of a paper presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip replacements? Those will more than double, rising from 285,000 to 573,000. from

Prevention? Weight control is paramount, says Dr. Joseph Buckwalter, an arthritis specialist at the University of Iowa Medical Center. "For someone who is obese, even losing a relatively little amount — 15 to 20 lbs. — can make a huge difference, both in terms of pain and progression of the disease." For every pound of weight lost, you can take 3 to 5 lbs. of force off a bad joint. Lose 10 pounds, and that's 30 to 50 fewer pounds of force.

Other recommendations include care for injured joints when you are young and exercise to maintain strength, flexibility, and joint range of motion.

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