Future of UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery is one of the fastest growing segments of the health care market. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of patients visit primary care physicians complaining of musculoskeletal afflictions. This adds up to more than 137 million visits to physicians’ offices, hospital outpatient clinics and emergency departments every year for orthopaedic conditions.
Back pain alone is costing the American economy $80 billion to $100 billion per year. In fact, it is the second most frequent reason patients consult a physician, and the growth rate of disability for back pain is rising 14 times faster than the population growth rate.
Another factor precipitating increased demand for orthopaedic surgery is the need for joint implants, driven by an aging population and a decline in the average age patients receive their first implant. The demand for trauma care is now increasing – traumatic injuries are growing at a compound annual rate of 12 percent. The need for traumatologists has never been greater.
By expanding and enhancing all of our clinical programs, orthopaedic subspecialties, science research, and teaching curriculums, the Department is poised to respond to the rising demand for orthopaedic care expected in the coming decades.