Researchers found that older patients who received the procedure were twice as likely to show improved physical mobility as those who did not. But because success depends on an intense rehabilitation regimen, doctors are often reluctant to recommend the procedure for patients in their 80s and older despite its physical and economic advantages. The study's findings could help doctors and patients make more informed decisions when considering the procedure.
Total knee replacement is performed when other forms of treatment have failed and it is considered a routine surgery. However, there has been little evidence demonstrating how the procedure affects patients over age 65.
According to lead author
Patients who received total knee replacement improved over time, but physical functioning declined in those who did not. Patients who were disabled at the time of surgery transitioned out of disability within one year of the procedure.
Reimbursement for the procedure (averaging
The research was supported by a grant from The Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth).
About InHealth (www.inhealth.org)
The Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization launched in 2004 that researches the social and economic impact of medical technology and adds evidence for evidence-based policy. InHealth is funded by unrestricted philanthropic gifts and funds university-based research and educational forums.
(1) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Statistical Brief #34,
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