Knee replacement surgeries have increased by 100 percent over the past 10 years and are expected to rise to 500 percent by 2030, reflecting the aging population of baby boomers, the Tuscon Citizen reports.
While replacement surgeries can help with knee pain in seniors, some say that the mentality of replacing a malfunctioning part in the body is not the best solution.
"Total knee replacement is an epidemic in our country," Marje Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, told the news source. "That circles back to the American way. Fix it. Give me an operation."
Instead of knee surgery, Albohm recommends losing weight, exercising more and increasing muscle tone to alleviate knee pain. Shedding pounds takes extra pressure off the joints, while exercising and building muscles gives the weak joint more support.
The Mayo Clinic reports that seniors should see a doctor if they cannot bear any weight on their knee, cannot bend or extend it all the way, or fall because the knee "gives out." In addition, if the joint shows marked swelling or an obvious deformity, it is important to get it professionally examined.