Rise in hospitalisations for osteoarthritis

By Ryan Mccann
Thursday, 23 May, 2013

The hospitalisation rate for Australians with osteoarthritis has risen by 25 per cent over the 10 years to 2010-11, according to a new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The number of hospitalisations in that period has gone from 326 per 100,000 people to 408 per 100,000. Over the same period the joint replacement surgery rate rose by 41 per cent.
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 most common form of arthritis in Australia with about 1.8 million Australians (8 per cnet of the population) having osteoarthritis compared to 443,000 having rheumatoid arthritis.
The new web-based report, available on www.aihw.gov.au, provides a snapshot of the latest statistics on osteoarthritis in Australia.
'Osteoarthritis is the predominant condition leading to hip and knee replacement surgery in Australia,' said AIHW spokesperson Nigel Harding. “In 2010-11, there were 115,000 surgical procedures performed on people with a principal diagnosis of osteoarthritis. “Of these, almost 30 per cent were knee replacements, 20 per cent were hip replacements and about 10 per cent were exploratory surgeries to diagnose the reason for the pain and damage to the joint.'
Knee replacement rates were higher in women than in men across all age groups except for people aged 85 and over. Contrary to popular belief, hip replacements were more common in men up to the age of 64, after which they were more common in women.

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