Study: Total Knee Replacement Improves Balance in ElderlyWritten by Staff | March 12, 2010
Total knee replacement significantly improves balance among elderly patients, according to a study released at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting.
The study examined 63 patients whose mean age was 73 years old and who had undergone total knee replacements. They were evaluated a year after surgery.
The study found significant improvement in dynamic balance one year after surgery; it also found significant progress in balance-determined motor tests. A year after surgery, the correlation between patients' improved balance and their ability to perform daily functions was stronger than the correlation between reduced pain and ability to perform daily functions. This suggests that pain relief is not the only benefit of knee replacement, according to Leonid Kandel, MD, the study author and an orthopedic surgeon at the department of orthopaedic surgery at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel.
The findings about balance are significant because falls are the leading cause of injury among U.S. seniors, and hip fractures among the elderly can be lethal, according to the release.
Read the AAOS's press release on the knee replacement study.
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