Hip Replacement Safe for Oldest Patients

It can provide people 90 and older improved quality of life, study finds

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Total hip replacement surgery can be done safely and effectively on people 90 years and older and provide them with years of improved quality of life.

So says a Mayo Clinic study in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Researchers reviewed medical records of 65 people, 90 and older, who had total hip replacement surgery between 1970 and 1997.

The study found the patients experienced some medical and surgical complications, but those rarely compromised the successful outcome of the surgery.

People in this age group do often have medical conditions -- hypertension, anemia, cardiac disease -- that can make the surgery more challenging. That's why it's important they be monitored closely for medical complications during the early post-operative period.

As baby boomers age, there will be an increasing number of people in their 90s who require a first-time total hip replacement, as well as other people in their 90s who will need a second total hip replacement.

"Primary-care physicians and surgeons should be aware that both primary and revision total hip replacement can be done safely and effectively in patients 90 years old and older and can result in years of pain relief and functional improvement," study author Dr. Mark Pagnano says in a news release.

"In our study, the typical patient lived for more than five years after hip replacement and had substantial relief of pain and improvement of function during that period," he adds.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about hip replacement.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, March 2003

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