WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with a primary diagnosis of hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is associated with a reduced risk for traumatic falls, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Adam Driesman, M.D., from NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital in New York City, and colleagues queried the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database from 2000 to 2015 and identified 499,094 cases with a primary diagnosis of hip or knee OA. Patients were stratified into four cohort groups: hip OA with total hip arthroplasty (THA), hip OA without THA, knee OA with total knee arthroplasty (TKA), and knee OA without TKA (168,234; 22,482; 275,651; and 32,826 patients, respectively). The long-term risks for subsequent traumatic falls were assessed during longitudinal follow-up.

The researchers found that patients who underwent TJA were at a decreased risk for falls compared with those without TJA (hazard ratios, 0.56 and 0.66 for THA and TKA, respectively). Risk increased for those aged 70 to 79 years and 80 years or older compared with those ages 40 to 49 years (hazard ratio, 4.3 and 5.5, respectively).

“We looked at how many people from each group came into a hospital to seek care for their fragility fracture, due to a fall, and found that those who had TJA fell far less than those who did not,” a coauthor said in a statement. “From that, we concluded that TJA for patients that have OA is protective against future falls.”

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