Just like age-defying baby boomers, older folks have seen a surge in knee replacement surgeries, driven partly by a desire to stay active and by joint-damaging obesity.
The findings are in a study of more than 3 million Medicare patients, aged 65 and older, who got artificial knees from 1991 through 2010. Almost 10 percent of the operations were redos — replacing worn-out artificial joints.
The number of initial knee-replacement surgeries each year on these older patients more than doubled during that time, rising to nearly 244,000 in 2010. Patients were in their mid-70s on average when they had surgery; that age edged up slightly during the study.