Mortality Rates In Older Patients Decrease For Hip And Knee Replacement Surgeries

Posted by Sara | Opinion | Monday 28 July 2014 5:13 am
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A new study appearing in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) has revealed that elective orthopedic surgery, which is performed on a greater number of patients, age 80 and older, is generally safe with mortality rates decreasing for total hip (THR) and total knee (TKR) replacement and spinal fusion surgeries, and complication rates decreasing for total knee replacement and spinal fusion in patients with few or no comorbidities (other conditions or diseases).

elective orthopedic surgery

“Based on the results of this study, I think very elderly patients, particularly those with few or no comorbidities, should strongly consider the benefits of these procedures,” said lead study author Hiroyuki Yoshihara, MD, PhD, an orthopedic surgeon at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center and Nassau University Medical Center.

Of the patients in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database who were at least 80 years of age, 417,460 underwent TKR; 233,277 THR; and 70,203, spinal fusion between 2000 and 2009. In the 65 to 79 patient range, 1,868,983 underwent TKR; 768,999, THR; and, 522,369, spinal fusion.

“Despite stable or increased in-hospital complications, the in-hospital mortality rate decreased over time for all three procedures,” said Dr. Yoshihara. “I think this finding may reflect improvements in medical treatment for complications during the last decade.

“As life expectancy continues to increase, I hope that very elderly patients who have had inadequate results from exhaustive conservative treatment (for various orthopedic conditions) undergo the procedures and have better life quality,” said Dr. Yoshihara.

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