Tags: Arthritis | knee | replacement | surgery | unnecessary

1 in 3 Knee Replacements Unneeded: Study

By    |   Monday, 30 June 2014 04:36 PM

More than one-third of total knee replacement surgeries performed in the U.S. are "inappropriate" and may be unnecessary, a new study has found.
 
The findings, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, are based on an analysis of medical records informed by a patient classification system developed and validated in Spain.
 
Researchers said the results highlights the need for a broader consensus on how to identify patients who will benefit most from knee replacement surgery among US medical professionals.
 
"Our finding that one third of knee replacements were inappropriate was higher than expected and linked to variation in knee pain [osteoarthritis] severity and functional loss," said lead researcher Daniel Riddle, M.D., with the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. "These data highlight the need to develop patient selection criteria in the U.S.
 
"To my knowledge, ours is the first U.S. study to compare validated appropriateness criteria with actual cases of knee replacement surgery."
 
For the study, researchers tracked medical records from a 5-year study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, involving 175 patients who underwent total knee replacement surgery, and that was later classified as appropriate, inconclusive, or inappropriate.
 
The review showed that 44 percent of surgeries were classified as appropriate, 22 percent as inconclusive, and 34 percent deemed inappropriate.
 
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year. In the past 15 years, total knee replacement surgery has grown significantly, with studies showing an annual volume increase of 162 percent in Medicare-covered knee operations between 1991 and 2010.

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More than one-third of total knee replacement surgeries in the U.S. are 'inappropriate' and may be unnecessary, a new study has found. The findings are based on an analysis of medical records of knee surgery patients tracked for five years.
knee, replacement, surgery, unnecessary
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2014-36-30
Monday, 30 June 2014 04:36 PM
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