Hip Replacement Improves Function at Any Age
Seniors with osteoarthritis (OA) who undergo total hip replacement are twice as likely as those who do not to show improvements in physical functioning and increased ability to care for themselves, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that there is no age limit on the benefits of hip replacement for patients.
Researchers found that total hip replacements provide a cost savings to the health-care system because reimbursement for the procedure (averaging $4,000 - $6,000) proves less costly than the long-term cost of health care for the disabled.
In addition to improved quality of life, health economists estimate savings associated with a year of a disability-free life at approximately $50,000, including all related health-care costs incurred by disabled patients such as hospital stays, nursing homes and home health care.
"We found that total hip arthroplasty improves everyday life for patients and is as beneficial to people in their 80s or 90s as it is for someone in their 60s," said Linda George, PhD, professor of Sociology and associate director of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging.
"While the number of surgeries conducted in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the last decade, fewer than 25 percent of patients who could benefit from the procedure elect to receive it."
"Osteoarthritis of the hip has a devastating impact on a patient's quality and length of life. Our study aimed to understand how total hip replacements affect tasks people do in their everyday lives, such as bathing, dressing, walking a few blocks, shopping and preparing meals," George said.
"Physicians are less likely to present this option to the very old, but they should feel confident in recommending this procedure to those who are eligible for it. We know that hip replacements are relatively safe and reports have shown a very high rate of patient satisfaction due to reduced pain and increased range of motion," she added.
This article was adapted from a press release issued by InHealth: The Institute for Health Technology Studies.