Orthopedics Facts and Figures

General facts

  • There are over 206 bones in the human body, each with a unique purpose.
  • About 35 percent of elderly people fall every year.
  • Exercise, even for people in their 90s, is the single best way to prevent falls.
  • Older people fall due to side effects from medication, tripping over objects in the home, and lack of physical activity.
  • The risk of bone and joint injury can be reduced by exercising at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Annually, a half million kids are seriously injured playing in their neighborhood playgrounds.
  • Musculoskelatal conditions affect hundreds of millions of people, costing an estimated $254 billion each year in the United States alone.
  • More than 63 percent of injuries in this country are to the musculoskeletal system.
  • One out of seven Americans reports a musculoskelatal impairment.
  • The risk of carpal tunnel syndrome can be decreased by avoiding obesity, caffeine, smoking, and occupations where using strong gripping and vibrating tools make up a significant part of the work day.


  • More than half of the people affected by arthritis are under the age of 65.
  • 43 Million Americans have arthritis or other joint inflammation.
  • By 2020, it is estimated that 60 million people in the United states will have arthritis.
  • Arthritis costs the United States economy $65 million in lost wages and medical care.
  • Arthritis results in 44 million outpatient visits and almost 650,000 hospitalizations annually.
  • Arthritis prevention and treatment depends upon:
    • Early diagnosis
    • Appropriate management
    • Physical activity
    • Weight management
    • Physical and occupational therapy 
    • Rest
    • Joint replacement when necessary

Hip fractures

  • Hip fractures occur in one out of every one hundred women over the age of 75.
  • 200,000 adults over the age of 65 fracture their hip every year.
  • Hip fracture is more common in women than men.
  • There is a 20 to 30 percent chance that a person who has fractured his or her hip will die within a year of the accident.
  • Tips to protect the elderly against falls in the home:
    • Make sure that rugs are fixed, not mobile
    • Install night lights
    • Consider installing railings close to the toilet and shower
    • Remove anything that obstructs smooth passage through the home
    • Wear shoes and slippers with non-skid soles

Just for baby boomers

  • Baby boomers experience more than one million sports related injuries annually.
  • Collectively, sports related injuries sustained by individuals born between 1946 and 1964 have been named "Boomeritis."
  • Tips to Help the "Weekend Warrior" Stay Healthy (from the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons):
    • Know your personal capacity and control your intensity accordingly.
    • Know the specific risks of any activity in which you are participating.
    • If you have a prior injury, seek out knowledgeable direction and training to get back in the game.

Joint replacement

  • More than 90 percent of joint replacement patients are otherwise healthy and do not need prolonged acute, high-maintenance hospital care.


  • Osteoporosis affects 28 million American men and women, causing their bones to deteriorate and weaken.
  • More than 18 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at risk for osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis contributes to 1.5 million fractures each year.
  • The estimated cost of osteoporosis and associated fractures is $38 million each day, or nearly $14 billion per year!
  • Get plenty of exercise. Walking, jogging and dancing or any other weight-bearing exercise (3-4 hours/week) can build strong bones and are a good investment in future bone health.
  • Get an adequate intake of Vitamin D and calcium.
  • Do not smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Ask your physician about bone density tests.