Elderly patients can benefit from hip replacement surgery
to the same extent as younger patients, new research suggests.
A study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery looked at the outcomes of surgery in a group of over-80s who underwent hip replacement surgery.
The researchers found that their outcomes tended to be as good as those in younger patients, although over-80s were more susceptible to dislocations because of diminished muscle strength.
The older patients were also more likely to suffer from fractures around their artificial joint and infections.
However, they tended to have less implant wear and loosening than younger patients, particularly the female patients.
Study author Dr Daisuke Ogino, senior visiting scientist at Helsinki University Central Hospital, said that the researchers had expected to find the prognosis in elderly patients to be much worse than in younger patients.
"It was a positive surprise that elderly people do so well both with regards to complications and long-term results," she conceded.
The expert suggested: "This is apparently due to the additional attention that is paid to optimise the patient's condition before, during, and after the operation and rehabilitation, coupled with already somewhat diminished demands of physical activity at that age."