Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that mostly affects the hands, spine and joints such as hips, knees and ankles, and usually gets worse over time. It is the predominant condition leading to knee and hip replacement surgery in Australia.
1 in 4 people with osteoarthritis self-reported fair or poor health, twice as much as people without the condition
38% rise in the rate of total knee replacements for osteoarthritis from 2005–06 to 2015–16
2 in 3 people who have osteoarthritis are female
1 in 11 Australians (9%) have osteoarthritis, approximately 2.1 million people in 2014–15
At present there is no cure for osteoarthritis. A variety of procedures are performed in hospitals to restore joint function, help relieve pain and improve quality of life for someone with osteoarthritis. For people unresponsive to medication, joint replacement surgery is a cost-effective intervention .
Based on the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD), in 2015–16:
Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).
Joint replacement surgery is a cost-effective intervention for people with severe osteoarthritis and those unresponsive to medication . These procedures restore joint function, help relieve pain and improve quality of life of the affected person.
In 2015–16, 50,609 knee replacements (181 per 100,000 population) and 30,958 hip replacements (112 per 100,000 population) were performed in hospitalisations with a principal diagnosis of osteoarthritis. The rate of knee or hip replacements was lowest in people aged under 40, increased with age to 75–79, and then decreased among those aged 80 and over (Figure 2).
Between 2005–06 and 2015–16, the age-standardised rate of joint replacement surgery in hospitalisations where osteoarthritis was the principal diagnosis steadily increased, by:
Note: Rates are age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.
All joint replacements require correction (revision surgery) over time. Based on data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry , there were 4,668 revision surgeries for knee replacements and 4,292 revision surgeries for hip replacements reported in 2016.
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