Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Knee Replacement Increases Functional Status

Surgery in elderly significantly improves mobility, motor function, activities of daily living

01 july 2009-- In elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis, those who undergo total knee arthroplasty have significantly improved functional outcomes compared to those who forgo the surgery, according to a study published in the July issue of Medical Care.

Frank A. Sloan, Ph.D., of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues analyzed 1994 to 2006 data on 516 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty and 1,756 patients who did not undergo the surgery.

Compared to non-treatment, the researchers found that total knee arthroplasty was associated with significant improvements in mobility (17.5 percent), gross motor function (39.3 percent), and activities of daily living limitations (46.9 percent).

"Although receipt of total knee arthroplasty results in improvements in functional status on average, whether or not total knee arthroplasty represents an efficient use of resources depends on a comparison of benefits and costs of this procedure," the authors conclude. "Particularly since most of Medicare beneficiaries are not engaged in full-time market work, it will be important to assess the reduction in nonpecuniary loss associated with use of this procedure."

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