-- Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- People who earn $35,000 or
less a year may have better outcomes after knee replacement surgery
than those who make more money, U.S. researchers say.
The study finding is based on data from patients who had knee
replacements at the Mayo Clinic over the past few decades. The
researchers found that lower-income patients reported less pain and
better knee function at their two-year checkups than higher-income
The finding "runs counter to what many might have expected to
see. We need to work to understand it further," study author Dr.
David Lewallen, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release.
However, this finding can begin to help doctors figure out why
some patients do better than others after knee surgery, Lewallen
One possible explanation is that many lower-income patients
delay the surgery as long as possible. This means that their knees
tend to be in worse condition when they receive a knee replacement
and their feeling of improvement after the procedure is more
dramatic, Lewallen suggested.
"This is one small piece of a very large puzzle in understanding patient outcomes following a well-defined surgery that we know is very effective for most," he said.
The study was scheduled for presentation Saturday at the annual
meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Washington,
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical
meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about
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