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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 Nov-Dec;53(3):328-33. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.12.010. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Incidence of early postoperative cognitive dysfunction and other adverse events in elderly patients undergoing elective total hip replacement (THR).

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, D-01307 Dresden, Germany.


In elderly patients cognitive dysfunction and other adverse events (AEs) can impair the outcome of surgical procedures. As THR is performed with increasing frequency in aging populations, it is important to know the impact of these problems on the postoperative result. In this prospective cohort study 60 patients older than 65 years (66.7% female, 33.3% male) who received THR were included. The cognitive function was measured preoperatively, one week and six months postoperatively by the mini-mental state test (MMSE). Shortly after surgery 4 patients (6.7%) developed postoperative cognitive dysfunction, which has recovered at six-months-follow-up. In 41 patients (68.3%) AEs were recorded. Postoperative anemia occurred as the most common AE (n=32; 53.3%). During hospital stay older patients are at an increased risk for AEs. The incidence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction was observed less often than expected. Further research is necessary to assess the effect of early interventions in case of cognitive dysfunction. With use of a simple and quickly performed test like the MMSE patients can be effectively screened for impaired cognitive function. Secure identification of those patients is mandatory to avoid complications with harmful long-term effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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