Table of Contents
Volume 2014, Article ID 615784, 8 pages
Research Article

Productivity Improvements in Hip and Knee Surgery

1Department of Economics, Duke University, P.O. Box 90097, Durham, NC 27708-0097, USA
2Department of Sociology and Center for the Study of Aging, Duke University, P.O. Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708-0088, USA
3Center for the Study of Aging, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3003, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Received 17 October 2013; Accepted 9 January 2014; Published 20 February 2014

Academic Editor: Changhai Ding

Copyright © 2014 Frank A. Sloan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Productivity improvements that occur as technologies become widely used are not well documented. This study measured secular trends over 1998–2010 in productivity of hip and knee procedures gauged in terms of changes in physical function and pain after versus before surgery. We used data from the Health and Retirement Study. Health outcomes from surgery were measured by 6 physical functioning scales and 2 pain indicators. We used propensity score matching to obtain nonsurgery control groups. Not only were there substantial improvements in physical functioning and pain reduction after receipt of these procedures in all years, but also we documented improvements in health outcomes over time. Largest improvements were for reductions in numbers of Activity and Instrumental Activity of Daily Living limitations for knee procedures.