02/26/2009 Las Vegas, NV
Octogenarians: Not Too Old for Joint Replacement
New study finds total knee replacement surgery can offer significant benefits to patients in their 80s
Knee replacement surgery can improve the quality of life even for very elderly patients, according to a study presented today at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The study found that patients in their 80s can benefit both physically and socially from knee replacement surgery, also called total knee arthroplasty (TKA), once thought too risky for the very elderly.
“As patients are living longer, there is an upward trend in the demand for quality of life among the elderly population,” said Edsel Arandia, M.D., lead author of the study and an orthopaedic surgeon at Philippine Orthopaedic Center and a Fellow at Singapore General Hospital. “As patients age, debilitating diseases like arthritis of the knee begin to develop. We conducted this study to determine the viability of TKA in octogenarians and to learn whether their quality of life improves after TKA.”
“In our institution, many surgeons are still skeptical to perform TKA in the very elderly since few data or studies pertaining to the gains of TKA versus the complications and risks that can occur with surgery in elderly patients exist,” Dr. Arandia said. “This study shows that with the advent of new technology and techniques in both orthopaedics and geriatric medicine, total knee arthroplasty in the very elderly population is very safe and offers significant gains in their quality of life.”