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Old Arthritis Patients May Not Benefit From Arthroscopic Surgery

Doctors doing hip surgeryPatients who suffer from serious hip pain may not have any other option for treatment rather than surgery. When choosing between a minimally invasive hip surgery and a total hip replacement, people often go with the first option. Unfortunately, according to a recent study made by researchers at the Hospital of Special surgery (HSS) in Manhattan, having an arthroscopic surgery could be very dangerous for your health, especially you are over 60 years old.

The researchers studied the patient databases from California and Florida in order to find out how just after almost two years from their arthroscopic surgery, patients ended up needing a hip replacement. The study discovered that almost two-thirds of the patients with the ages between 60 and 69 ended up needing a hip replacement. Two of the major factors that influenced this complication were arthritis of the hip and obesity.

According to William Schairer, M.D., lead author the reason why the study was made was because the number of arthroscopic surgeries performed has grown to an alarming level. Schraider says that in only four years the number of hip arthroscopies performed in the United States got higher than 600%.

Hip arthroscopy wasn’t such a popular procedure 10 years ago due to its difficulty and lack of technology. Luckily, the technology has improved in such way that it is easier for an orthopedic surgeon to perform the operation and more patients are asking if it’s possible to be done on them. What the study managed to discover is that many of the arthritis patients who have an arthroscopy done to them aren’t eligible for it.

The researchers say that when performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon, arthroscopic surgery can help treat hip impingement, labral tears and loose cartilage responsible for arthritis symptoms. Usually, this procedure is performed on younger patients in order to relief them from arthritis symptoms and to make sure that the disease doesn’t develops even further. Most of the studies involving arthroscopic surgeries have shown that it has positive results overall.

In order to get the most accurate results, the researchers involved in this new study analyzed the data from 7 351 patients found in the California and Florida database who had a two year follow-up after their arthroscopic surgery. The patients were divided in five groups based on their age, all of them having between 40 and 70. The researchers also managed to discover which of the patients were diagnosed with hip arthritis before the surgery and which were obese. The results show that 35% of the patients with ages between 60 and 69 had a hip replacement after the arthroscopic surgery whereas only 3% of the patients younger than 40 needed to have their hips replaced.

Hip arthroscopy can be a very useful procedure when done right and can help improve arthritis symptoms, but it can cause complications for older patients if they aren’t compatible for it.





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