Osteoarthritis is the leading reason behind joint replacement surgeries, and this survey was commissioned to determine the impact of osteoarthritis on the lives of patients as well as the current needs and barriers to surgical treatment approaches. Nearly 70 percent of osteoarthritis sufferers surveyed experience persistent, daily pain, leading to lack of sleep, depression and a decrease in work productivity. Although 81 percent of patients use an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription product to ease pain and increase motion, over half feel their current treatment is only somewhat effective in reducing their pain.
Of those who discussed joint replacement with their physician, 78 percent said it was recommended. However, most of these surgery candidates spoke with their physician more than a year ago and have yet to undergo the operation. Fuelling the delay of surgery are fears about potential follow-up surgeries and the possibility of incorrect joint alignment.
"Nearly 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, and we can only expect that number to grow", stated William Barrett, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with Valley Orthopaedic Associates in Renton, Washington. "Patients don't need to continue suffering. The surgical advances they've been waiting for are here now with today's new integrated computer-assisted systems for total joint replacement. In my experience, the potential benefits seen with these technologies include reduced incision size, minimized soft tissue damage and a decreased risk of incorrect joint alignment."
Dr. Barrett is one of a growing number of surgeons worldwide using DePuy's new Ci System, the first and only totally integrated surgical navigation system for total knee joint replacement that provides proprietary hardware, software and instruments designed to work together to enable more accurate minimally invasive procedures.
"We designed the Ci System to enhance and extend the orthopaedic surgeon's skill and experience by offering an unobstructed view of the patient's knee during surgery, along with important data that assists in making surgical decisions", stated Kevin Sidow, Worldwide President, DePuy Inc. "And patients can gain confidence knowing that, with the Ci System, their surgeon can view the results of surgical decisions before they are made." The Ci System is especially critical technology as more patients opt for minimal incision surgery, a surgery that, by its nature, restricts the surgeon's ability to see the operative area.
Additional survey findings showed that when all osteoarthritis patients were asked specific questions about joint replacement surgery:
- more than 60 percent reported a concern over the need for additional procedures following surgery
- 60 percent were afraid of incorrect joint alignment associated with surgery
- 56 percent were concerned about the length of the recovery period
- nearly 50 percent were concerned about the pain associated with recovery
- seventy-two percent of osteoarthritis patients are looking for a treatment approach that is better than what they are currently following
- more than 80 percent want their physicians to offer them the latest treatment approaches available
- when deciding what treatment approaches to follow, osteoarthritis patients are most likely to be influenced by a treatment's ability to ease pain (87 percent) and increase motion (83 percent)