Hip Replacement Devices
Startling Statistics & Insights


On a global basis, hundreds of thousands of hip replacement devices are designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed and implanted each year.

The purpose of this page is present some insights, statistics and predictions on what is a large and growing industry. As I was carrying out my research as part of creating this site, I came across some surprising and occasionally shocking insights, stories, numbers & trends, and it occurred to me that it might be worth sharing these with Visitors to provide some additional context for the Site.

The insights presented are necessarily incomplete; taken at a single point in time; and they cover multiple dimensions, including:

  • Demographics in a number of countries that illustrate the high volume of hip replacement procedures, and some predictions on future growth
  • The control and regulatory regimes intended to foster the safe use of hip replacement devices
  • Commercial insights - the manufacture and sale of hip replacement devices is very big business
  • Legal perspectives - when hip replacement devices are recalled, patients often require legal representation in order to protect their rights and secure compensation in circumstances where implant components are ultimately proven to have caused injury.

As ever, a couple of caveats to call out:

  • First: statistics, trends, experiences and regulatory approaches & outcomes are necessarily country and population-specific. Therefore, any attempt to extrapolate from one country to another is potentially unreliable.
  • Second: the information presented on this page has been cherry-picked by a layman (me!) and is simply a byproduct of my meandering research. Therefore, the information is by definition fragmented and incomplete. However, on the upside, I have only included items where, in my judgment, I feel the source is independent, well governed and therefore likely to be reasonably reliable.

This page will be added to regularly through time, so please bookmark or RSS (link in LH column) to be notified automatically as updates occur.

Joint Replacement:
Future Trends & some Surprising Insights

Joint Replacement - Headline Numbers (snap-shot as at 2012)

Each year, over 700,000 joint replacements are carried out in the Unites States alone.

These 700,000 implant procedures split roughly as follows:

  • Hip replacement: 291,000
  • Knee replacement: 380,000
  • Other joints: 29,000

Take-home messages:

  • There is huge demand for Joint Replacement
  • Joint replacement is Big business; a global industry worth billions of dollars

Trends in Joint Replacement over the next 20 Years

The annual volume of joint replacement surgery is projected to increase substantially between now and 2030. Taking just the United States this equates to:

  • Hip replacement: two-fold increase to c.582,000 per annum
  • Knee replacement: seven-fold increase to c.2,660,000 per annum (yes; that's right - almost 2.7 million knee replacement operations each year in the US alone)

Take-home messages:

  • The US population is: ageing rapidly; more physically active; enjoying improving general health in old age
  • The average US citizen is getting heavier - hips and knees are the main weight-bearing joints. Go figure…
  • These demographic trends underpin the projected increase in demand for knee and hip replacement devices
  • Guess what... Big business just got BIGGER

Rising Costs

The average cost (per procedure) of Joint Replacement is expected to increase three-fold in just the next 5 years.

Take-home messages:

A number of basic economic drivers underpin the overall projected increase in costs, including:

  • A substantial increase in demand for specialist resources, not matched by a corresponding increase in supply of specialist resources - such as Orthopaedic surgeons. Surgeons could theoretically start to charge more for their valuable skills & experience
  • Similarly, hospitals and operating theatres have upper limits to their annual capacity. Hence there is likely to be upward pressure on them to increase their 'prices' for these scarce resources in what is essentially a competitive market.
  • Recent hip & knee implant recall episodes are projected to cost manufacturers, distributors and insurers billions of dollars over the coming years. It is not unreasonable to assume that:
    • Manufacturers may well increase the future price of knee and hip replacement devices in order to recover these losses and hedge against possible future recalls & claims - essentially 'baking-in' these financial exposures as a 'cost of doing business'
    • Insurers may increase premiums to recover the product liability claims that they have had to honour; these premiums are part of the annual cost base of manufacturers and distributors of joint replacement products. This would generate further upward pressure on the prices of artificial joint products & systems

More to follow...

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