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.
Vastag B. Knee Replacement Underused, Says Panel. JAMA. 2004;291(4):413-414. doi:10.1001/jama.291.4.413