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Women, men and joint replacements

While women may have their first total joint replacement (TJR) at an older age, they are less likely to have complications related to their surgery or require revision surgery, according to a new study presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The findings contradict the theory that TJR is underutilized in female patients because they have worse outcomes then men.

Total hip (THR) and (TKR) are common surgical treatments for end-stage arthritis, which causes ongoing pain, limited function and diminished life quality.

Researchers reviewed patient databases from an Ontario hospital for first-time primary THR and TKR patients between 2002 and 2009. There were 37,881 THR surgeries (53.8 percent female) and 59,564 TKR surgeries (60.5 percent female). Women who underwent THR were significantly older than males (70 years vs. 65 years); however, there was no difference in age between male and undergoing TKR (median age 68 for both). A greater proportion of female patients undergoing TJR were defined as frail (6.6 percent versus 3.5 percent for THR; and, 6.7 percent versus 4 percent for TKR).

Following surgery, men were:

  • 15 percent more likely to return to the emergency department within 30 days of hospital discharge following either THR or TKR.
  • 60 percent and 70 percent more likely to have an (heart attack) within three months following THR and TKR, respectively.
  • 50 percent more likely to require a revision arthroplasty within two years of TKR.
  • 25 percent more likely to be readmitted to the hospital and 70 percent more likely to experience an infection or revision surgery within two years of TKR, compared to .

“Despite the fact that women have a higher prevalence of advanced hip and knee arthritis, prior research indicates that North American women with arthritis are less likely to receive joint replacement than men,” said lead study author Bheeshma Ravi, MD, PhD, an orthopaedic surgery resident at the University of Toronto. “One possible explanation is that women are less often offered or accept surgery because their risk of serious complications following surgery is greater than that of men.

“In this study, we found that while overall rates of serious complications were low for both groups, they were lower for women than for men for both hip and , particularly the latter” said Dr. Ravi. “Thus, the previously documented sex difference utilization of TJR cannot be explained by differential risks of complications following .”

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Types of treatments available at Latham Hip Surgery
  • Treatments
  • Hip Replacement

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

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  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s now an established technique, and the results are usually excellent in carefully selected patients…

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  • 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…

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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