New statistics reveal that there has been a big rise in knee replacement operations in younger patients.
Almost 90,000 knee replacement operations were performed in 2010, an increase of 5.7% on the previous year. Figures for the UK, US and Finland show an emerging trend of requests for knee replacements from patients in their 50s.
But the durability of replacement knee joints has only been assessed for patients in their 60s, 70s and 80s. A report in Arthritis and Rheumatism says that work is urgently needed to check that knee replacements are viable for patients in their 50s.
Best estimates suggest that the joints last for about 15 years in older, less physically active recipients. Surgeons say younger patients may wear out their replacements even faster than this.
Arthritis Research UK is investigating the success rate of knee replacement surgery in this younger age group, and wants to ensure that artificial knees can last 30 years or more.
Experts blame the UK’s growing obesity problem for the excess strain on knee joints.
The chairman of Arthritis UK, Prof Alan Silman, said: "More knee replacements are being performed because the population is getting older and more obese - two of the main causes of knee osteoarthritis - but also because they are increasingly being carried out on younger people, under the age of 50."
Last year, independent sector hospitals achieved some of the best outcomes for hip and knee replacement surgery.
A private hip replacement will cost up to £14600 for people in the UK. But an average health insurance premium for a 65 year old is around £70 a month, totalling only £840 a year, perhaps lower with a discount scheme.
People with private medical insurance will receive that knee replacement without extra cost, in a private hospital of their choice, with a consultant of their choice. They will also skip the NHS waiting lists, so compare health insurance online now.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012