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Sarcopenia in Orthopaedic Surgery

This is a summary of a research article in Healio Orthopaedics. We are looking at ways of treating sarcopaenia in order to optimize the outcoem of surgery.

Sarcopenia is a loss of skeletal muscle mass in the elderly that is an independent risk factor for falls, disability, postoperative complications, and mortality. Although its cause is not completely understood, sarcopenia generally results from a complex bone–muscle interaction in the setting of chronic disease and aging. Sarcopenia cannot be diagnosed by muscle mass alone. Diagnosis requires 2 of the following 3 criteria: low skeletal muscle mass, inadequate muscle strength, and inadequate physical performance. Forty-four percent of elderly patients undergoing orthopedic surgery and 24% of all patients 65 to 70 years old are sarcopenic. Although dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis may be used to measure sarcopenia and are relatively inexpensive and accessible, they are generally considered less specific for sarcopenia compared with computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Sarcopenia has been shown to predict poor outcomes within the medical and surgical populations and has been directly correlated with increases in taxpayer costs. Strengthening therapy and nutritional supplementation have become the mainstays of sarcopenia treatment. Specifically, the American Medical Directors Association has released guidelines for nutritional supplementation. Although sarcopenia frequently occurs with osteoporosis, it is an independent predictor of fragility fractures. Initiatives to diagnose, treat, and prevent sarcopenia in orthopedic patients are needed. Further investigation must also explore sarcopenia as a predictor of surgical outcomes in orthopedic patients.

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  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s a relatively new technique, but the results are usually excellent…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more