Cost Statistics

Arthritis has a profound economic, personal, and societal impact in the United States. In 2013, the total national arthritis-attributable medical care costs and earnings losses among adults with arthritis were $303.5 billion or 1% of the 2013 US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).1 Learn more about the impact of these medical care costs and earnings losses on those with arthritis.

Medical Costs

  • In 2013, the national arthritis-attributable medical costs were $140 billion.
    • That’s $2,117 in extra medical costs per adult with arthritis.1
  • Ambulatory care medical care costs accounted for nearly half of arthritis-attributable medical costs.1
  • Medical care costs include prescriptions.

Earnings Losses

  • Total national arthritis-attributable lost wages were $164 billion in 2013.
    • That’s $4,040 less pay for an adult with arthritis compared with an adult without arthritis.1
  • The high earnings losses were because of the substantially lower percentage of adults with arthritis working compared with adults without arthritis. Scientifically-proven interventions that keep people with arthritis in the work force are needed. 

Cost of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis, affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States.2 In fact, OA was the second most costly health condition treated at US hospitals in 2017.3 In that year, it accounted for $19.9 billion, or 4.6%, of the combined costs for all hospitalizations.3 

Among privately insured hospitalized patients, OA was also the most expensive condition with $7.0 billion in hospital costs.3  It was the second most expensive condition among hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries at $11.3 billion in hospitalization costs. 

These hospitalization costs do not account the total national costs for joint replacements because an increasing percentage of joint replacements are being conducted in an outpatient setting.4 


1. Murphy LB, Cisternas MG, Pasta DJ, Helmick CG, Yelin EH. Medical expenditures and earnings losses among US adults with arthritis in 2013. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 September 26. [Epub ahead of print] abstract

2. United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS), Fourth Edition. Rosemont, IL. Available at Accessed on February 25, 2020.

3. Torio CM, Moore BJ. Statistical Brief #204. National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2013. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2016. html

4. Bert JM, Hooper J, Moen S. Outpatient Total Joint Arthroplasty. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2017 Dec;10(4):567-574. doi: 10.1007/s12178-017-9451-2. PMID: 29064004; PMCID: PMC5685972