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Joint Replacement Surgery on the Rise

Study: Sharp Increase in Artificial Knees and Hips by 2030

Surgery Trends

Amar S. Ranawat, an orthopaedic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, is expecting to see a growing number of people who need joint replacement surgery in the coming years.

"The baby-boomer population is increasing. And if you think of arthritis as a percentage of the population, then as the population increases, there will be more disease. So there will be more primary arthroplasty, which will lead to more revision arthroplasty," he tells WebMD. Arthroplasty is the technical name for joint replacement surgery.

"People are getting surgeries earlier on in the disease process, and when you undergo your first operation in your 50s, there is an increased risk of having another in your 60s or 70s," he says.

As to whether there will be a shortfall of available orthopaedic surgeons to do all the replacement operations, Ranawat says that "there are a lot of orthopaedic surgeons in major cities that can accommodate the increase, but there may be a shortfall in local, smaller communities, so more people will be going toward major cities to get the operation."

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