Study finds surge in knee replacement surgeries for those older than 65

Sources: ABC/Associated Press, Journal of the American Medical Association 

A recent study of more than 3 million Medicare patients over the age of 65 observed a recent surge in knee replacement surgeries. During the time period studied, the number of initial knee-replacement surgeries on older patients more than doubled, rising to nearly 244,000 in 2010.

The study also found that length of hospital says decreased while readmission rates increased; ten percent of operations between 1991and 2010 were secondary procedures.

These increases are attributed to an aging population and rising numbers of Medicare enrollees. Increased obesity rates may play a role as well because obesity can negatively affect joints and contribute to arthritis. The pace of growth has slowed in the past few years, possibly due to the fact that younger adults are now getting artificial knees earlier in life.