New Knees

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Story Updated: Sep 27, 2012

Find out why.

If you ask a person who has had joint replacement surgery how it went...many will tell you they wish they'd done it earlier.

New research suggests people are embracing knee implants now, more than ever.

In fact, this new study, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that rates of knee replacement surgery have soared since 1991.

More than 100 percent increase between 1991 and 2010 in the volume of primary knee replacements being performed. We found about a 99 percent increase in the volume of revision knee replacements.

Researchers used records of nearly 3-point-6 million patients 65 and older, who had primary or revision knee surgery during the past 20 years.

Original knee surgeries and implant revision rates increased.

The concern is the disproportionately high number of Medicare enrollees, and those with osteoarthritis due to obesity potentially straining the current health care system.

Approximately 600-thousand total knee replacements are performed annually in the U.S. at a cost of about $15,000 per surgery or $9 billion per year.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com