Postoperative management considerations of the elderly patient undergoing orthopaedic surgery Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • INTRODUCTION: The elderly population is rapidly increasing, corresponding to an increase in orthopaedic surgical procedures for this group of patients. Current guidelines mostly concentrate on the patient's age when considering surgical fitness in the elderly. However, patient frailty may be a more significant factor when assessing postoperative risk in surgical management. In this article, we will analyse some of the factors associated with the postoperative care of the geriatric population after orthopaedic surgery. METHODS: This manuscript summarizes a presentation from the 2019 Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care (OTC) meeting in Toronto, ON, given by an invited presenter on the topic of Postoperative medical management of the geriatric patient undergoing orthopaedic surgery. The information in the presentation is based on current literature and available guidelines. RESULTS: Highlighted were factors that can have a significant impact on the management and outcomes of elderly patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery. These included: cognitive impairment, postoperative analgesic control, pulmonary complications, falls, nutrition optimization, urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, and functional decline. CONCLUSION: There is a higher rate of postoperative complications in the surgical management of the elderly, and thus, special considerations following orthopaedic surgery in this patient group are necessary. Determining patient frailty based on clinical judgment using specific postoperative considerations could be a more reliable method in determining the surgical risk in the elderly patient. Additionally, more attention needs to be diverted towards early mobilization and patient education, as these factors can significantly help to avoid some of the postoperative complications that seem to affect the geriatric population.

publication date

  • May 2020

published in