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Hip and Knee Replacements: Why are they on the rise?

I just had a great question come in my email from one of my patients.

She was asking why there is such a large increase in hip and knee replacement surgeries. From the following website, she pulled these statistics:


For the US, the only numbers I could find for primary knees was 600,000 in 2008 and 676,000 in 2009. One study also published the following interesting statistics:

With an ageing baby-boomer generation, it should come as no surprise that the number of hip and knee replacement procedures have sky-rocketed. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) shows that primary hip replacements increased by 48%, from 153,080 procedures in 1997 to 225,900 in 2004.

First-time knee replacements grew by 63% from 264,331 in 1997 to 431,485 in 2004. According to HCUPNet, 228,332 patients received total hip replacements in 2006, and 496,077 patients received total knee replacements.

If these trends continue, an estimated 600,000 hip replacements and 1.4 million knee replacements will be carried out in 2015. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of knee replacements will rise to more than 3.4 million. First-time replacement procedures have been increasing equally for males and females; however, the number of procedures has increased at particularly high rates among people age 45-64 years.

These are absolutely astonishing statistics, and are absolutely NOT “normal”.

It’s amazing to me how we just plod along and accept things as the way they are, yet in other countries these types of statistics don’t happen.

Well, there are a multitude of reasons for this epidemic.

And most of them are related to dietary changes and our changing environment and all of its poisons.

Let’s look at joints to start…

Most people have heard of glucosamine sulfate. In fact, many of you reading this have probably taken it in a pill. It is very common in joint formulas. Both glucosamine and chondroiton sulfate.

So why do these products tend to work for so many people?

In order for the joints to be healthy, there are two things they desperately need:


  • Glucose: healthy blood sugar
  • Sulfur: a healthy, well functioning liver


Do you notice that both glucose and sulfur are in the name glucosamine sulfate?

Without proper blood sugar regulation, which occurs by way of the pancreas and adrenal glands, your joints cannot be supplied the correct fuel.

And what does a very large percentage of the population have?

Blood sugar imbalances.

Now, they may not show up on your medical doctors test, because they are looking at just your glucose (blood sugar), but the vast majority of people have huge problems with this.

We eat refined sugar like it is going out of style.

I have seen various statistics on how much sugar we eat per year. It might be 125 pounds, or even up to 200 pounds per person, per year. And actually, the numbers have been falling recently.

Note: NOT because we are making better choices either, but instead because more people are poisoning themselves with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose (splenda), acesulfame-k, etc.

Compare this consumption to the roughly 5 pounds per person a year back in the late 1800’s.

The bottom line?

Our bodies cannot handle that much refined sugar coming in. Something just has to give.

Okay, so now we get to the sulfur part of the joint.

Sulfur is a molecule that holds a tremendous amount of water and is abundant in the joints. It’s what gives joints and cartilage it’s buoyancy and flexibility. Without it the joints start to deteriorate.

But there is one other organ that uses up a ton of sulfur…


As part of its detoxification machinery, the liver uses sulfur to bind to poisons the liver is trying to work on.

In short, do you think we have more poisons in our bodies and environment now, or less? The answer is obvious. We now have over 87,000 chemicals that have never been tested for safety in our daily lives. These chemicals severely tax the liver and put a strain on it.

So with the liver using up more sulfur to deal with poisons, it has to find it somewhere.

For one, our diets are usually quite deficient in sulfur compounds because the average american is partaking in fast food or boxed, packaged junk. I can’t even spell it food, it should be phude or something else, because it doesn’t pass the qualifications of what real food does for the body.

So what does your brain do?

It makes a decision.

Your brain has to decide what is more important. Detoxifying the toxins in your liver, or saving your joints.

Hmmmm, what do you think is more important?

The toxins, obviously!

Sure enough, it starts to pull sulfur out of the joints to use to run the detoxification machinery. Day by day the joints deteriorate as the liver tries to keep up.

And this is why many people turn to supplements such as glucosamine sulfate.

But it really isn’t the answer is it?

The person’s blood sugar is still screwed up, and their liver is poisoned. It’s just a temporary Band-Aid that will not continue to work long term.

The real solution is starting to understand this crazy world we live in. It’s understanding what the powers that be have done to our food supply and how they have drastically altered it.

What we think of as normal now, is anything but normal.

I tell my patients that most people are running on fumes. THERE ISN’T ANYTHING IN OUR FOOD ANYMORE!!!


It’s like trying to run your car on 50% gasoline and 50% water. A completely ridiculous thought. Nobody in their right mind would even attempt it.

It reminds me of that car commercial where the woman is going to put diesel into her car and everybody is running and screaming at her to stop. They know that a gasoline car CAN’T RUN ON DIESEL.

Now, thankfully this particular car runs on diesel, but you get my point.

With the drastic loss of minerals in our food supply, we are just flat out running on fumes. Minerals are known as the spark plugs of life. They energize the cells and run the millions and millions of enzyme reactions in the body.

Without them we die.

With a short supply of them, our bodies break down and get diseased.

Get the drift?

Hip pain and knee pain are terribly painful. And surgery is much worse. The increase in these surgeries is due to our food and our environment, and all the chemicals we are unknowingly duped into bringing into our homes.

Things like the cleaners that we use, the shampoos that we have, and the chemicals in the building materials.

When I was in chiropractic school, one of the cadavers in our anatomy lab had a hip replacement surgery. We of course had to dissect all kinds of things that would make the average person squeamish. The screws inside this woman looked like they came from the local Home Depot.

It was crazy to look at these screws that were inside a human being.

It really is amazing what modern medical science can do, but I think you will agree, that we really ought to focus on stopping this from happening in the first place.

Now here is the good news.

The human body can regenerate. Maybe you are too far gone, but many people can get out of pain by making some dietary changes and getting on the right supplements and program that will help them to help their body do what it needs to do.

It needs to…


  • Detoxify
  • Nourish
  • Adapt (to stress)


So these are the fundamentals.

The glue that is holding your body together is falling apart. I always tell people it’s the mortar in a brick wall. Without proper mortar, your brick wall will fall apart.

The same holds true with the body.

If your joints or bones are falling apart, for gosh sakes look to what is making up those tissues.

Trace it back.

What goes in your mouth becomes you.

You are either making healthy, robust tissue, or you are making dead, decaying tissue.

It isn’t rocket science.

The thing is, that it takes time. It takes many, many years of eating the way that you have been to get to where you are. It’s every choice you make on a daily basis.

We are very strange in this country.

Instead of looking at logical solutions, we look to big surgeries, drugs and other dangerous methods before turning to the basics.

I urge you to Get Back To Basics.

Learn about food.

Educate yourself.

Your joints depend on you (and the rest of you for that matter).

And more importantly, your kids and grandkids depend on you. Every generation we go through gets sicker and sicker.

It’s the FOOD!!!


Image from www.modern-senior.com

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