What the Demand for Joint Replacement Surgeries Means for Graduate Students

Edited by Laura Morrison, for GradSchools.com, March 2014

physical therapy graduate programs and joint replacement demand

If you have an interest in attending graduate school so you can pursue an advanced degree, such as aMaster of Business Administration or Juris Doctor, it's a good idea to follow the latest developments in the field you hope to work in. Keeping abreast of news and trends will keep you better informed and may even alter your academic focus.

This could be the case with individuals interested in careers in the health care industry. For instance, new data reveals that a large number of people in the U.S. have undergone joint replacement surgery. With so many people living with artificial hips and knees, the need for professionals who can help these patients is growing.

Here's what you need to know about joint replacements and how this information may influence what type of graduate programs you apply to:

New statistics

In the U.S., more people than you may realize have undergone surgery and received a new hip or knee. The findings of the study, which were revealed at a recent conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), show that more than 2 out of every 100 Americans has an artificial joint, according to The Associated Press.

On an annual basis, more than 600,000 knees and nearly 400,000 hips are replaced among the U.S. population, the news source reported. This is especially true among adults over the age of 50. The study revealed that 5 percent of these individuals have undergone surgery to replace a knee and more than 2 percent of this population replaced a hip.

This data shows that more people are willing to have a joint replaced if it means living a better life. According to the AAOS' website, total joint replacement surgery is performed to relieve patients of pain that is often so severe they may avoid using their affected joint altogether.

Why this news matters to you

If you're looking to pursue a career in an area of the health care industry that's expected to experience faster-than-average job growth, then you may want to consider a career as a physical therapist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for this line of work are projected to increase by 36 percent through 2022.

As so many people are going through life with joint pain, you could work toward earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy and possibly help these individuals. As a licensed physical therapist, you may also be able to assist those who have received a new hip or knee recover.

Click Here to Search for Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy

About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.

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