People with undiagnosed neurocognitive deficits are undergoing hip and knee replacements at high rates and are more likely to have poorer short-term outcomes after surgery, according to new research led by orthopedic surgeons at NYU Langone Health.
The study of patients who were screened with cognitive assessments prior to undergoing a total joint arthroplasty, or replacement, showed that those who scored worse on the tests were significantly more likely to fail to progress in rehabilitation and to require admission into the intensive care unit (ICU).
“Our data suggest that neurocognitive impairment is highly prevalent in older individuals who are set to undergo total joint replacements, and we suspect that rates may be underestimated nationwide,” says James Slover, MD, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU School of Medicine, and an attending orthopedic surgeon and clinical site chief at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. “These patients required more hospital resources and progressed more slowly with physical therapy after surgery. Therefore, it is critical that strategies are developed to screen these patients and protocols are put in place to allocate more support to them before and after surgery.”