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Medical News and Perspectives
January 28, 2004

Knee Replacement Underused, Says Panel

JAMA. 2004;291(4):413-414. doi:10.1001/jama.291.4.413

Patients with arthritic knees may find substantial benefit from total knee replacement surgery, according to a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). After reviewing 20 years of data, a consensus committee found that total knee replacement is safe and cost-effective for alleviating pain and improving physical function in the vast majority of patients who do not respond to nonsurgical therapies.

Some 90% of those who undergo the surgery experience rapid reductions in pain and improvement in overall quality of life, according to the committee's report; 85% of patients say they are satisfied with the surgery's outcome.

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