Oklahomans Having Some Surgeries More Than National Average - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahomans Having Some Surgeries More Than National Average

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The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care compiled a state by state list of the number of Medicare enrollees who have back, hip and knee surgery. In all three, more Oklahomans had these procedures than the national average. The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care compiled a state by state list of the number of Medicare enrollees who have back, hip and knee surgery. In all three, more Oklahomans had these procedures than the national average.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Skip Klingman couldn't take the pain in his right knee any longer.

"It did bad things to my golf swing, golf course and it hurt," Klingman said.

He tried medication, therapy and even injections before opting for a total knee replacement.

"They're going to cut the end of the bone off of your leg, take your knee out and throw it away," Klingman said. "That's reason enough to be apprehensive."

Skip isn't alone. More and more Oklahomans are going under the knife. But which surgeries are most common in our state? The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care compiled a state by state list of the number of Medicare enrollees who have back, hip and knee surgery. In all three, more Oklahomans had these procedures than the national average.

"There's almost a linear relationship between the aging population and the baby boomers and the incidents in doing hip and knee replacements, " Norman orthopedic surgeon Doctor Mark Moses said.

Read more about the Dartmouth report and how Oklahoma compares to other states.

Dr. Moses added living longer and keeping an active lifestyle are some reasons. Okies get even more credit.

"Oklahomans in general are very, very active in terms of their health care," Dr. Moses said. "And they're becoming a more educated patient population."

But surgery isn't always the first option.

"I like to treat patients non operatively for as long as we can, "Dr. Moses said. "You start with a treatment pyramid."

That includes medication, activity modifications or steroid injections.

"When all those conservative measures fail, that's when you really sit down and talk about the options," Dr. Moses said.

For Skip Klingman, like so many Oklahomans, the final option was surgery.

"It was amazing, completely pain free," Klingman said. "It hasn't really improved my score all that much, but the enjoyment is much greater without the pain."

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