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An Increase In Knee Replacements Driving Up The Cost Of Medicare

Health graphic
Health graphic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVB) - One reason that the Medicare healthcare system is under increasing pressure is that as more and more boomers enter retirement, they are less likely to settle for lives of inactivity and more and more are demanding joint replacement surgery, particularly knee replacement. Dr. Peter Kram, says a brand new study says knee replacements have increased 161% in the last 20 years. He says patients want more mobility to continue their active lifestyle and to keep up with their grandchildren, so they are choosing knee replacement to do that.   

 It could cost Medicare $5-billion for the $15,000 procedures alone, according to the study.  The new study, conducted by the American Medical Association suggests the increase in Osteoarthritis due to increased obesity may explain the hike.

Stryker Corporation claims to be one of the largest makers of total knee replacement systems in the world and this may be one of the reasons it’s a growth industry.