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J Arthroplasty. 2010 Dec;25(8):1175-81. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2010.07.025. Epub 2010 Sep 25.

Joint replacement access in 2016: a supply side crisis.

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  • 1OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207, USA.


Demand for primary and revision arthroplasty is expected to double in 10 years. Coincident with this is a decreased interest in arthroplasty by residents. Retirement of arthroplasty surgeons further threatens access. This study determines if supply will meet demand. Survey data were used to calculate the 2016 workforce. Demand in 2016 was estimated using the Nationwide Inpatients Sample. Between 2008 and 2016, 400 arthroplasty specialists and 1584 generalists will enter the workforce. By 2016, 1896 arthroplasty surgeons will retire using 65 years as a conservative retirement age, whereas 4239 will retire using 59 years as a baseline retirement age. In 2016, the model estimated a procedural shortfall ranging from 174,409 (↓18.6%) using conservative retirement assumptions (age, 65 years) to 1,177,761 (↓69.4%) using baseline retirement assumptions (age, 59 years). This economic model predicts a supply side crisis that threatens patient access to specialty care. Immediate steps to stimulate supply must be taken.

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