Trends in use of total knee arthroplasty in Korea from 2001 to 2010

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 May;471(5):1441-50. doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2622-y.


Background: The use of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has increased substantially in most Western countries. However, the trends in TKA use and changes in demographic characteristics of patients having TKA in Korea remain unclear.

Questions/purposes: We documented the trends in TKA use and in the demographics of patients undergoing TKA in Korea over the past decade and determined whether current TKA use in Korea corresponds to worldwide trends.

Methods: Using the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service of Korea database, we analyzed TKA records (n = 398,218) from 2001 to 2010 in Korea. Trends in TKA use and demographics, including numbers and rates of primary and revision TKA, growth rate and the revision burden, and age- and sex-specific rates, were estimated. They were compared with nationwide TKA registry reports from other countries, and a systematic review was performed.

Results: Over the past decade, the primary and revision TKA rates increased by 407% and 267%, respectively. However, the revision burden remained 2%. The highest proportion was observed in 65 to 74 years old and the greatest increase in 75 to 84 years old, but a decrease was observed in those 55 to 64 years old. Women consistently had a ninefold higher TKA rate. The primary TKA rate was comparable with that of other countries, but the revision burden remained lower. In addition, old and female patients comprised considerably higher proportions in Korea.

Conclusions: During the past decade, TKA use in Korea has markedly increased and caught up with the use levels of most developed Western countries. Trends toward consistent growth in elderly patients and higher rates in females were observed. Appropriate healthcare strategies reflecting these trends in demographics are urgently needed in Korea.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / trends*
  • Asian People*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / ethnology
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Registries
  • Reoperation
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome