Orthopaedic Surgeon Questions Knee Surgery

Is knee surgery advisable for a person who is 78 years old?

My father is 78 years old and has multiple health complications. I would like to know if knee surgery is advisable (and safe!) to treat his knee pain?

9 Answers

If his primary physician deems him at an acceptable risk, yes. Improving pain can improve his mobility and quality of life.
This all depends on the medical issues and what surgery is proposed. For most knee replacements, it's advisable to see his primary care doctor to assess his risk and clear him for surgery.
If he has failed all conservative treatments such as cortisone injections and viscosupplementation, surgery may be an option depending on what other medical problems he has. Everyone is different and multiple factors must be considered. Consult with an othopedic surgeon to see if surgery is an option, but trying all conservative measures should be done before surgery.
Yes provided the person is in reasonable health
It would depend on the exact medical conditions that he has and how well they are controlled. A preoperative evaluation can be performed by his pcp physician and/or cardiologist or pulmonologist to determine if he is a candidate for surgery and also recommend optimizing the conditions needed for surgery. Regional anesthesia can often be performed to decrease risk.
If they are active and the knee problem interferes with quality of life, then yes.
Yes, we do knee replacement surgery on many patients this age. The real question you need to ask is what happens if surgery isn’t done.
It depends on what other medical comorbidties tour father has. If it is well controlled and stable, then depending on what procedure he needs, medical doctors and cardiologist (if he has cardiac issues) can optimize him and check his medical suitability for the surgery. Ultimately it’s a collective decision between you/family, your orthopedic surgeon and the team of medical doctors he is under.
It depends on the type of surgery. A large surgery with a long recovery period is not usually offered to someone described like your father. Smaller surgeries are: total knee replacement, usually, no; knee arthroscopy (called a knee scope), usually, yes. Your dad's family doctor is in a good position to help answer this question, I suggest you attend a visit.