Trends in arthroplasty in Japan by a complete survey, 2014-2017

Background: Precise knowledge of the prevalence and trends of arthroplasty can facilitate the design of medical plans for efficient treatments. The National Database of Health Insurance Claims and Specific Health Checkups of Japan (NDB) Open Data Japan provides statistics about the annual number of arthroplasties (knee, hip, shoulder, finger, elbow, and foot/ankle) through health insurance claim numbers for these surgeries. The purpose of this study was to document the annual arthroplasty numbers between 2014 and 2017 in Japan and to analyze their four-year trends, gender differences, age distributions, and regional differences as revealed by the complete survey.

Methods: Numbers of arthroplasty surgeries were extracted from the NDB Open Data Japan for 2014-2017. For “knee”, “hip”, “shoulder”, “finger”, “elbow”, and “foot/ankle” arthroplasties, we showed the annual arthroplasty numbers, annual arthroplasty numbers by age group, annual arthroplasty numbers in individual prefectures, and annual arthroplasty numbers per 100,000 population in individual prefectures.

Results: The annual arthroplasty numbers in 2017 were 146,189 for all joints, 82,304 for knees, 59,029 for hips, 2454 for shoulders, 1551 for fingers, 536 for elbows, and 291 for feet/ankles. For the four years up to 2017, the rate of alteration in the number of arthroplasties was +14% for total arthroplasties, +9% for knees, +21% for hip joints, +97% for shoulders, + 8% for fingers, -10% for elbows, and +25% for feet/ankles. The proportion of females was 70-90% and the peak age was between the late 60s and late 70s for all joints. Variations in arthroplasty numbers per population by prefecture appeared to be small for knees and hips and large for other joints.

Conclusions: We revealed the annual total number of arthroplasties for each joint in Japan using the NDB Open Data Japan for the first time.