New US research has revealed the true global cost of knee injuries. Data taken from studies across the world has given an insight into how much conditions such as Knee Osteoarthritis are costing the economy.
While the research couldn’t identify the true cost in the UK due to a lack of data, it does provide a general idea of how much is being spent to tackle the common condition. Here, we’ll look at what the research found, and how knee injuries are costing workers too.
Breaking down the costs of knee injuries
The latest research assessed studies from different countries to see how the true cost of knee injuries compared. Most of the studies for the USA were conducted in the 1960s to 1970s, though the most recent research shows that it costs the economy approximately $3.4 to $13.2 billion. Interestingly, the studies also showed that the costs were higher for women compared to men.
The latest study in Canada, carried out in 2005, revealed the cost of patients over age 55 who had knee or hip arthritis was much higher than previously thought. Each patient with knee arthritis was estimated to cost around £1449 annually. In Europe, the direct cost of Osteoarthritis per patient worked out at around £1260, whereas in Italy the costs accounted for £785.
Although there was no concrete data on the cost of knee injuries in the UK, Hospital Episode Statistics from 2010-2011, show there were 181,350 admissions into hospital for knee and hip arthritis. Researchers were also able to look at the cost of topical and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Data from 2005/2006 showed that the cost of topical treatments was £8.5 million, and oral treatments cost £25 million. However, the costs of topical treatments were expected to double.
More research into the cost of knee injuries required
While the latest research goes some way to understanding the costs of knee injuries, much of the data used was outdated. There is minimal recent research into the costs, particularly in the UK.
It is also worth noting that there are direct and indirect costs of knee injuries. Direct costs include treatment for Osteoarthritis, while indirect costs related to missed work. The latter is what really costs the economy. In the US, the Arthritis Foundation reports that 20 million Americans have lost around $71 million in lost wages due to osteoarthritis.
Further research now needs to be conducted to gather more recent data if we are to understand the true cost of knee injuries.
Seeking help for knee pain
One way to cut the economic cost of knee injuries, is to ensure they are treated quickly. The earlier knee injuries are treated, the less time patients will need to take off work. Treatments are also more cost-effective when conditions such as osteoarthritis are treated early.
If you are suffering with Osteoarthritis, book a consultation with Mr Jonathon Webb today.