Find out just how much advanced age plays a role in determining if you’re a poor candidate for knee revision surgery.

Can you be too old for knee revision surgery due to failed implants? Is old age, in and of itself, a contraindication to knee revision surgery?

“Age by itself is not a contraindication,” says Henry Boucher, MD, clinical instructor of Adult Reconstruction, Medstar Union Memorial Orthopaedics, Baltimore, MD. “Risk increases with the number and severity of comorbitities.”

Age Is not the Only Factor in Risk Assessment for an Elderly Patient’s Knee Replacement Surgery

Examples of comorbidities are diabetes and congestive heart failure. These may prove a lot greater in the risk-benefit assessment for the operation for an elderly man or woman.

A 65-year-old with these issues would be a less suitable candidate for knee revision surgery, or even a first-time joint replacement, than a 90-year-old who does not have any other diagnosed health problems.

Another comorbidity that would really get the surgeon’s attention is pre-existing kidney disease.

“Patients need to be evaluated by their primary MD and/or cardiologist for risk assessment,” adds Dr. Boucher. “Elderly patients are often candidates for revision surgery.”

Other comorbidities of greater concern than how old the patient is would be obesity, emphysema and uncontrolled high blood pressure.

If an orthopedic surgeon has reservations about performing a knee revision procedure due to how old you are, it’s probably because he is not knowledgeable of your general health.

Be sure to make sure that the surgeon has every bit of information about your health so that your advanced age isn’t the only thing that the surgeon bases an opinion on.

A patient of very elderly age who still has decent heart pumping function, healthy kidneys, normal blood pressure, no diabetes and no other serious issues would be a suitable candidate for a knee revision surgery.

Dr. Boucher’s specialties are hip and knee surgery, replacement and revision, and sports medicine surgery. He has been the recipient of the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence multiple times.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.