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Ayers to USA Today: some patients ‘wait too long’ for joint replacement

Longer life spans and the obesity crisis are fueling a dramatic rise in the number of Americans undergoing total joint replacements orthopedic surgeon David Ayers, MD, told USA Today. As a result, more than 7 million people nationwide are living with artificial hips and knees.

Dr. Ayers, the Arthur M. Pappas, MD, Chair in Orthopedics, chair and professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation, and Patricia Franklin, MD, professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation and family medicine & community health, presented new data to the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans this week. Ayers and Franklin are leading a national database of surgical results and patient-reported outcomes in total joint replacement, called FORCE-TJR, (Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement.)

New data from the registry pinpoints when most Americans are having their joint replacements, and suggests some patients should consider doing so earlier.

"I think the average patient is having the operation at the right time based on our data, but there are people who wait too long," Ayers told USA Today.

Read the full story at: Number of people with new joints tops 7 million