Knee Replacement in Folks Over 80: Less Risky Than You Think

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News Picture: Knee Replacement in Folks Over 80: Less Risky Than You Think

TUESDAY, March 22, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

Knee replacement surgical procedure is more and more frequent amongst individuals over 80 sidelined with knee pain, and the process is not as hazardous for them as typically assumed.

That is the principle message from a brand new research of greater than 1.7 million seniors who underwent knee replacement surgical procedure.

The findings come as no shock to Dr. Thomas Fleeter, whose oldest knee alternative affected person was 96.

Age is only a quantity with regards to knee alternative surgical procedure, mentioned Fleeter, an orthopedic surgeon with places of work in Reston and Centreville, Va. He was not concerned with the brand new research.

“No person desires to stay in pain, and one of many biggest fears of aged individuals is being dependent,” he mentioned. These people need to go to the grocery retailer, see their grandchildren, journey, backyard and stay their lives to the fullest, he added.

For a lot of of them, knee replacement surgery will help meet these objectives.

Octogenarians do have longer hospital stays after knee alternative surgical procedure and are additionally extra prone to be readmitted to the hospital inside 90 days than sufferers aged 65 to 79, however the two age teams are likely to have related dangers for different issues, the research crew discovered.

“We’re seeing a rise in life expectancy, and extra individuals need to maintain a great high quality of life and exercise, so sufferers older and older are contemplating knee alternative as a strategy to overcome continual knee pain,” mentioned research creator Priscilla Varghese, a medical pupil at SUNY Downstate in New York Metropolis.

Varghese performed the research at Maimonides Medical Heart, in Brooklyn, throughout a summer season analysis program. “Knee alternative surgical procedure carries a really low threat for individuals aged 80 and older, and they’ll possible have a considerable, if not full, discount of pain after surgical procedure,” Varghese mentioned.

The brand new findings may change the way in which older persons are recommended concerning the dangers and advantages of knee alternative, she added.

For the research, the researchers analyzed medical claims information on greater than 1.7 million individuals aged 65 and older who acquired a brand new knee. The investigators in contrast complication charges amongst individuals aged 80 and older to these skilled by sufferers aged 65 to 79.

Charges of readmission and size of hospital keep had been larger and longer amongst octogenarians, the outcomes confirmed.

Each age teams had related dangers for medical issues (akin to pneumonia and different infections) within the 90 days following their surgical procedure.

However people aged 80 and up had decrease charges of implant-related issues — akin to erosion, an infection, implant failure and mechanical loosening — than their youthful counterparts after two years.

This is sensible, she mentioned: “The youthful group of sufferers could also be extra lively so that they have a better threat of wear and tear and tear on the {hardware}.”

Surgical procedure is not the one choice for these older sufferers. Different therapies akin to weight loss or steroid injections could assist, however knee pain sometimes does not get higher by itself, Varghese mentioned.

The findings had been scheduled for presentation on the annual assembly of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held March 22 to 26 in Chicago. Findings introduced at medical conferences ought to be thought-about preliminary till revealed in a peer-reviewed journal.

Not each 80-plus-year-old is a candidate for knee alternative, Fleeter famous. “If you’re overweight and produce other pre-existing well being circumstances, the chance of knee alternative surgical procedure could also be too excessive,” he mentioned.

However “an 83-year-old who’s skinny and in any other case wholesome, but cannot stroll from his automobile to the door resulting from knee pain, will in all probability sail by way of this operation.”

The underside line? “Age is not the problem,” he mentioned. “It is all the opposite figuring out elements that go into it.”

Extra info

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons tells you what to expect after knee replacement surgery.

SOURCES: Priscilla Varghese, medical pupil, SUNY Downstate, New York Metropolis; Thomas Fleeter, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Reston and Centreville, Va.; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s annual assembly, Chicago, March 22 to 26, 2022

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