Question:My 81-year old father just had a hip joint replacement. We're worried because he isn't following the nurse's directions. He seems very confused. We're afraid he's going to do something and break the new joint.
Age by itself isn't a risk factor for hip dislocation. But age added to mental confusion is linked to hip dislocation. Post-operative confusion is not uncommon in older adults after surgery. It may or may not go away but it usually takes a few weeks to a few months.
It may be necessary to have some extra help at home during this recovery time. Check with the doctor first to make sure there isn't a medical cause for the confusion. Sometimes drugs or drug interactions can cause confusion. Changing the drug or the drug dosage may be all that's needed.Hans J. Kreder, MD, MPH, et al. Arthroplasty in the Octogenarian. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. April 2005. Vol. 20. No. 2. Pp. 289-293.
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