The increase in total knee replacement surgery in Taiwan: A 15-year retrospective study

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Total knee replacement (TKR) is considered as one of the most success among clinical interventions for patients with who suffering from knee osteoarthritis (OA). We sought to estimate the incidence of TKR using demographics, incidence rates, lengths of hospital stay, and costs from 1996 to 2010 by analyzing Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 154,553 patients obtained primary TKR surgery between 1996 and 2010. The diagnosis code for knee OA and the procedure code for TKR were selected from the records. To compare the rate of TKR between covariables, we calculated the TKR risk ratios and 95% confidence interval (CI) of these variables (gender, age, age group, and primary diagnoses). A 2-tailed P-value of .05 was considered statistically significant. The statistical package SPSS version 20.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL) was used to conduct all the statistical analyzes. We analyzed 154,553 TKRs performed by surgeons in Taiwan from 1996 to 2010. The overall crude incidence increased from 26.4 to 74.55 TKR per 100,000 inhabitants from 1996 to 2010. TKR incidence for the 70 to 79 years age group increased from 227 to 505 per 100,000 people from 1996 to 2010. The age-standardized rate ratios for TKR of women to men ranged from 2.5 to 3.0. The mean average length of stay in hospital was 15 days in 1996 and decreased to 8 days in 2010. During the study period, the adjusted mean cost per patient decreased from US$7485 to US$4827. Health expenditures for TKR were 5% of total National Health Insurance expenditure every year. Over the 15-year period, Taiwan's TKR incidence tripled, which is consistent with population ageing. Arthritis will be a major public health issue in the ageing population in the future.

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