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Age May Not Be Barrier for Total Hip Resurfacing

Clinical outcomes are nearly identical in patients over age 60 and those under age 60

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although national registries suggest that older patients who undergo metal-on-metal total hip resurfacing arthroplasty may have an increased risk of femoral neck fracture, the success rate of the procedure is similar for both older and younger patients, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Mike S. McGrath, M.D., of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and colleagues compared outcomes in 35 patients (40 hips) over age 60 and 130 patients (153 hips) under age 60 who underwent metal-on-metal total hip resurfacing arthroplasty between 2002 and 2005.

After a mean follow-up of 36 months, the researchers found that improvements in mean Harris hip scores were similar in both groups (52 points to 94 points in the older patients and 53 points to 92 points in the younger patients) and that there were no significant group differences in Short Form-12 scores. During the study, they also found that only seven patients (two in the older group and five in the younger group) required conversion to a conventional total hip arthroplasty. In one patient in each group, the reason for the conversion was femoral neck fracture.

"We believe that age should not be the salient criterion for selecting resurfacing or conventional total hip arthroplasty, as there may be many older patients who are good candidates and younger patients who are not," the authors write. "Therefore, patients should be evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether they are appropriate candidates for this procedure."

In support of their research for this study, one or more of the researchers reported receiving outside funding or grants from Wright Medical Technology.

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