Uninsured osteoarthritis patients fear cost of TKR despite severity of pain: 5 takeaways


A study in Arthritis Care and Research reported on by Medpage Today says uninsured patients with severe osteoarthritis have a decreased preference for total knee replacement despite high levels of pain.

Here's what you need to know.


1. Although two thirds of the 3,530 patients in a study were willing to undergo the procedure if it was recommended, those with pain were more likely to avoid the procedure than those without.


2. When accounting for age, sex, comorbidity, depression, health insurance coverage, prescription medicine coverage, healthcare source, education, income, employment, race and marital status the association was attenuated.


3. Study lead Ernest Vina, MD, said the study "raises concern that TKR is not being considered by patients at a time when it might result in greatest benefit."


The researchers were the first to examine the impact of socioeconomic status and healthcare coverage on the relationship between pain and the willingness to have the procedure.


4. The researchers believe their findings suggest that policy change could improve access to knee replacement surgeries.


5. The study was a cross-sectional analysis at four eastern U.S. sites during 2004 to 2006. The mean age was 66-years-old and 40 percent of the participants were male.


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