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The Need to Replace Aching Knees Increasing

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the population ages, particularly those in the Baby Boom generation, people are deciding they want to stay more active and one option is to replace cranky, painful knees worn out from years of use.

While no one can fault older Americans the desire to stay on their feet, these knee replacement surgeries are coming at a cost since in the past 20 years, the number of operations among Medicare enrollees has doubled.

Dr. Peter Cram of the University of Iowa College of Medicine says that the procedure known as knee arthroplasty costs a whopping $15,000, which clearly strains the entitlement program as more people want to improve the quality of their lives.

There's another concern Cram has as well: many of the patients are obese and are afflicted with diabetes, which contributes to their sore knees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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