Today Community General Hospital in Syracuse, New York, opened its new $7.6 million orthopedics unit. The new unit, located on the hospital’s sixth floor, will care for patients recuperating from knee, hip (including hip and knee replacements) and spine surgery. The Hospital’s old orthopedics unit on the fourth floor provided insufficient space, as the orthopedic surgery practice has grown. The new, modern facility will provide better care and may even reduce orthopedic medical malpractice lawsuits. Outgrown, overcrowded surgical recovery units are breeding grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits.
The new unit is timely. We are going to need more, better, and larger orthopedic units in the future. One big area of growth in the orthopedic surgery field is joint replacement, especially knee and hip replacements. To demonstrate this growth, let’s just look at knee replacements. In 2006, 59,077 people between the ages of 45 and 54 had knee replacements. But experts predict that, by the year 2030, that number will have increased to almost 1 million, nearly 17 times as many! Similar statistics are available for hip replacements.
Why this increase? Three facts are driving the trend: (1) Joint replacements are more successful than before, and thus attract more patients. New technology allows the artificial parts to withstand more stress and strain; (2) Seniors are more active, and need those hips and knees to work for them; and (3) There are more and more obese people, which triggers earlier and greater arthritis and other orthopedic problems.
Kudos to Community General Hospital for building this new unit to meet Central New Yorkers’ ever increasing orthopedic surgery needs.