Never too old for knee surgery

Knee replacement surgery can improve the quality of life even for very elderly patients, according to a study presented yesterday 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 orthopedic 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." Dr. Arandia and his team reviewed data from 128 patients older than 80 years of age who underwent knee replacement surgeries at Singapore General Hospital between October 1998 and December 2006. The results were measured using two quality-of-life scales, the SF-36 and the Oxford Knee Score, which assign scores to elements of physical and emotional health, such as: •physical pain •social functioning •vitality •physical functioning ********** Published: February 27, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 45