Knee and Hip Replacements - News Release

Contact: Joe Martin
717-232-6787 or


Harrisburg, PA - June 4, 2015 - The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) has released a new report on knee and hip replacement surgeries performed in Pennsylvania hospitals. In addition to the hospital measures, the report also includes the number of surgeries performed by individual surgeons practicing in the Commonwealth.

"This report adds to the data Pennsylvania residents have available to help inform decisions when facing knee or hip surgery – an increasingly important issue as the baby boom generation ages," said Joe Martin, PHC4’s executive director. "It is noteworthy that over the past 10 years, knee replacement surgery increased 40.4% and hip replacements by 67.2% for those between the ages of 45 and 64 years."

Knee and hip replacement can offer improved quality of life for those with severe pain or poor mobility. These procedures involve removal of worn cartilage and bone from the joint and replacement with metal and plastic implants that function like a normal bone joint. The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and improve function.

The report shows hospital-specific data, including the number of cases, readmission ratings, average hospital charges, and average Medicare payments for knee and hip replacements. The number of cases is also reported for the 619 surgeons who performed knee and/or hip replacement in 2013. County-level rates are provided as well.

Following national trends, combined, the total number of knee and hip replacements performed in Pennsylvania hospitals increased 38.5%, from 38,815 in 2004 to 53,769 in 2013. The number of knee replacements increased 34.9%, and the number of hip replacements increased 46.1%. Together, knee and hip replacements cost the Medicare fee-for-service program almost $147 million. Medicaid payments (including both fee-for-service and managed care) amounted to approximately $28 million.

In 2013, approximately 1 in 200 Pennsylvania residents age 20 and older underwent knee or hip replacement. The rate for residents age 65 and older was about 1 in 75. Pennsylvania residents age 45 to 64 had the largest increase in the rate of knee and hip replacement between 2004 and 2013, a 40.4% increase for knee replacement and a 67.2% increase for hip replacement.

Approximately 3.9% of knee replacement patients and 4.3% of hip replacement patients were readmitted to a hospital within 30 days following surgery. Common reasons for readmission included post-operative wound infection, dislocation and infection of the prosthetic joint, blood clot, bloodstream infection, and pneumonia.

Regionally, residents of Western PA had higher rates of knee and hip replacement than other areas of the state. Southeastern PA residents had the lowest rates:

       Knee replacement per 10,000 residents
       37.5    Western PA
       36.0    Central and Northeastern PA
       30.6    Southeastern PA
       Hip replacement per 10,000 residents
       18.5    Western PA
       17.1    Central and Northeastern PA
       16.8    Southeastern PA

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.