Boomers break down

March 17, 2011, 1:00 PM UTC

As the 77 million U.S. baby boomers begin turning 65 this year, demand for artificial joints is exploding — with costs for all musculoskeletal conditions reaching over 7% of GDP. A big problem, says Dr. Steven Kurtz of Exponent Inc., is a shortage of qualified orthopedic surgeons. Below, Zimmer’s Trabecular Metal Reverse Shoulder System. –Tara Moore

$14 billion is the size of the orthopedic reconstructive market; knees make up more than 50%, and hips 37%. Shoulders account for just under 6%, but with new procedures, that percentage will grow.

3.5 million knee procedures will be done annually by 2030, with a wider range of boomers opting for reconstructive surgery.

673% is the estimated percentage increase in knee replacements from 2005 to 2030, the year the last of the baby boomers turns 65.

Sources: Dr. Steven Kurtz, Exponent Inc.; Professor Ed Yelin, University of California at San Francisco; AAOS; U.S. Bone and Joint Decade; Stryker; Zimmer

Also on