Today in the USA, 4.5 million people are living with a total knee replacement, according to a presentation made by experts from the Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. There are twice as many knee replacements annually now compared to ten years ago.

Head researcher, Elena Losina, PhD., explained that a considerably higher number of younger patients are receiving a total knee replacement (TKR). The primary reason for TKR continues to be osteoarthritis.

Losina and team gathered data from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study and the Osteoarthritis Initiative, the National Health Interview Survey, and the US Census data and processed the information through a computer model.


They found that at least 4.5 million people in the USA today are living with one TKR or more, i.e. 4.7% of all Americans over the age of 50 years. A higher percentage of adults in this age group live with a TKR than those with congestive heart failure or rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers also informed that:

  • 5.3% of women over 50 are living with TKR, compared to 4.1% of men in the same age group
  • 4.8% of females and 4.1% of males aged 60 to 69 have a TKR
  • 8.2% of females and 7.1% of males aged 70 to 79 have had at least one TKR
  • 10% of the over 80s (box sexes) have a TKR

Dr. Losina said:

“The number of total knee replacements is growing drastically. We now have a lot of people living with TKR.”

Dr. Losina added that their findings should help health authorities plan for future challenges related to total knee replacements, including follow-up care planning, treatment access, and health care budgeting.

Written by Christian Nordqvist