The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 1938 - 1945

Advanced Age Is Not a Barrier to Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Detailed Analysis of Outcomes and Complications in an Elderly Cohort Compared With Average Age Total Knee Arthroplasty Patients

Klasan, Antonio et al.


Life expectancy and higher complication rates have made the routine use of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in elderly patients disputed by some authors. The purpose of this study was to assess patient and implant survivorship, complication and revision rates, and patient-reported outcomes (PROMS) in a cohort of patients aged above 80 years undergoing TKA. A comparison with a propensity matched cohort of patients of average age within our database for TKA was performed.


A retrospective review of prospectively collected data identified 644 patients over the age of 80 years undergoing a TKA within a 14-year period. After calculating the average age of all TKA patients within the reviewed database, a cohort deemed average age was created within 1 standard deviation of the average age and matched using the following criteria: gender, surgeon, diagnosis, procedure type, and year. The primary outcomes were survivorship of the implant and the patient. The secondary outcomes were complications, transfusion rates, discharge destination, and PROMS.


The revision rate was low for both groups ( P = .051). Implant survivorship at 10 years was similar ( P = .07). Mortality rate was higher in the elderly ( P < .001). General complication rate was higher in the elderly ( P = .031). Surgical complications rates were similar ( P = .702). The PROMS at final follow-up were 4% lower in the elderly ( P < .001).


TKA in the elderly is a safe procedure. With measures minimizing the perioperative complications and blood loss, the outcome can be expected to be similar to patients of average age. The projected implant and patient survivorship in the elderly cohort is long enough to suggest that TKA in the elderly could have a high impact on remaining quality of life.
Level III retrospective study.


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