The Implications of Diabetes for Orthopaedic Practice

Rishin J. Kadakia, BSc; James M. Tsahakis, BA; Neil M. Issar, BSc; Mallory Powell, BA; William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH; A. Alex Jahangir, MD; Manish K. Sethi, MD

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic medical conditions in the United States. In addition to the disease’s direct complications, most patients also have other chronic conditions and are at an increased risk for a variety of complications such as nontraumatic limb amputations. The incidence of diabetes is increasing globally; estimates are that diabetes will affect 7.7 percent of the world’s population between the ages of 20 and 79 by 2030. The prevalence may be even higher—perhaps up to 20 percent—among orthopaedic patients.

Approximately one of every seven U.S. healthcare dollars is spent on treating people with diabetes. As the incidence and prevalence of diabetes rise, so will this figure. This makes patients with diabetes an ideal population for developing cost-effective practices aimed at reducing unnecessary healthcare costs.

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