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Study backs knee, hip replacements for elderly

CHICAGO -- People age 75 or older recover just as well as younger patients from knee or hip replacements to correct the ravages of arthritis, researchers said on Monday.

The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that age is not a barrier to such surgery, though the investigators found that many patients are not well-informed about this. The poor, they said, are often shut out.

Dr. Mary Hamel and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said they reached the conclusions after looking at 174 patients with an average age of 75 who had severe osteoarthritis, some of whom had replacement surgery.

“Patients age 75 and older took about the same amount of time to return to regular activities as those age 65 to 74, with most patients requiring assistance with activities such as shopping and household chores for more than a month,” the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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