New frailty test helps assess risk in joint replacements

Surgeons at Wayne State University School of Medicine have developed a simplified frailty test that can help predict the risk of mortality or complications arising from total joint replacement surgery in the elderly.

The announcement of the new test and index was made at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

According to a press release, the new frailty test takes into account 11 data points included in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) database from which healthcare providers can then calculate a frailty score based on a patient's medical history.

“I think using our frailty index can kind of enlighten surgeons into recognizing that even if they are doing an elective case, such as total knee or hip replacement, sicker patients who have significant medical histories may have a high risk of wound infections and even mortality,” said study coauthor Peter Adams, MD, a resident in general surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. “This frailty score will allow surgeons to have accurate and meaningful conversations with patients about their risk.”


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