Gereatric Knee Replacement Surgery For 87 Year Old Woman In Good Health, Horrible Arthritis, Good Or Bad Idea?

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My grandmother, good health mentally and physically, she has horrible trouble with her knees. If it were not for her knee condition she’d be travelling alot, doing alot more with her friens, etc. I don’t think her natural death is going to happen anytime soon. Would it be worth it for her to undergo the procedure?

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2 Responses to “Gereatric Knee Replacement Surgery For 87 Year Old Woman In Good Health, Horrible Arthritis, Good Or Bad Idea?”

  1. talarlo says:

    If she is otherwise healthy then she should do it. Just remember that the elderly cannot handle surgery the way younger people do and if her heart is not strong enough she could end up dying during surgery. Also there is a lot of physical therapy that she will have to do afterwords so she will need to be in good shape. Her doctor should be able to determine her risk as far as health. I have seen perfectly healthy people go in for knee replacement and never be able to walk again afterwords because they were not strong enough to handle the physical requirements after

  2. mistify says:

    Her physician should really do a good physical exam as there are several risks with the procedure. First is blood loss…recovery can start slow for those who loose a lot of blood during the procedure and many require transfusion afterwards. Use of blood thinners after surgery is necessary to prevent blood clots, but can also carry a risk of bleeding. The older someone is, the more unpredictable they will react to anesthesia including respiratory depression, post-op psychosis, etc. The risk of pneumonia also increases with age. Finally, infection of the knee is probably the most common complication (with anyone). All of these risks (and more) need to be carefully examined prior to consent for surgery.
    The decision on whether or not to have it is very personal. It is certainly a painful and lengthy recovery requiring 2-3 months of physical therapy in the outpatient setting…so family support is imperitive. She may need some supportive living upon discharge home, help with meals, laundry, etc. Driving her to and from appointments will be a big time committment. While therapy lasts about 3 months, full recovery and maximum benefits take up to a year to to achieve. Yet, knee replacement is a rather successul surgery at restoring quality of life. Even in cases where people do not regain mobility, many are happy just to have significantly less pain. She needs to really examine the current quality of her life and make the personal decision as to whether the results of surgery will ulitimately better her quality of life. If she does decide to go through with it, sooner would be better than later. And yes, I have seen someone her age go through the procedure (although it is rare).
    Best wishes to her.

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