All patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) have improved outcomes; however, patients age 75 and older (late elderly) are achieving better pain relief and improved quality of life compared to younger patients (under age 55), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, held July 7. until March 11 in Las Vegas.
David Christopher Ayers, MD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter study of 11,602 unilateral primary TKA patients to examine whether outcomes vary with patient age. Patients were stratified by age (less than 55 years [younger adult]55 to 64 years [older adult]65 to 74 years [early elder]and 75 years and older [late elder]).
The researchers found that one year after TKA, younger adults reported slightly worse pain, function and quality of life, but better function scores than older patients. The differences in mean postoperative scores at one year between the four age groups (range, 4.02 to 12.23) reached the minimal clinically important difference for pain and quality of life, but not for function.
Improvements from baseline in pain, function, and quality of life scores achieved by younger adults (36.8, 30.3, and 40.7 points, respectively) were similar to those of other groups. Compared to younger adults, age was a predictive factor for knee injury and osteoarthritis pain scores in older adults.
“Orthopedic surgeons may recommend TKA as an appropriate and life-changing surgery for people with advanced arthritis who are not responding to conservative care, even for those over the age of 75,” Ayers said in a statement.
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