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J Aging Res. 2012;2012:968389. doi: 10.1155/2012/968389. Epub 2012 May 8.

Total joint replacement in the past does not relate to a deteriorated functional level and health status in the oldest old.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


Total hip or knee replacement is effective in improving joint function, quality of life, and pain reduction. The oldest old population with joint replacements (TJR) is underrepresented in current literature. We compared health-related and functional characteristics of oldest olds with and without TJR. Participants (aged 85 years) were divided into a group with and without TJR. Comorbidity, physical and joint functioning, daily living activities, quality of life, and mortality were recorded. Thirty-eight of 599 participants (6.3%) received a TJR in the past. Participants with a TJR had slightly less comorbidities, walked slower (P = 0.006), and complained more about hip-pain (P = 0.007). Mortality of those with a TJR was lower during the first 8-year followup (P = 0.04). All other characteristics were comparable between groups. We conclude that subjects with a TJR performed equally well, besides showing a lower gait speed and a higher frequency of hip-pain. Except for the lower gaitspeed, having a TJR is not associated with poorer health.

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