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mnpat
@mnpat

Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 17, 2016

Anesthesia types and effect on cognitive function in elderly persons

Posted by @mnpat, Jan 1, 2017

Hello, I am a 73 yr. old female considering a knee replacement. One of my major concerns is types of anesthesia and possibly decline in cognitive function. Any one have information?

REPLY

@mnpat This is an interesting question. I am also looking forward to hearing responses from others. In the meantime here are some articles from a reliable website, the National Institute of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959222/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206478/ They do point to the fact that this can be a problem. This would be a good discussion with your doctor and perhaps anesthesiologist prior to surgery.

Hi,
I just had my knee replaced on December 21. I had an epidural (needle in spine). Also they gave me a relaxant medication -don’t know what it was. I am 77 years old.
I came out of operating room 2 hrs, later wide awake and bright as a daisy. Much better recovery as well. There were people who had the general anaesthetic who were still ‘out’. I am in Canada, so if they do an epidural on your country. I would highly recommend it. Less than 2 weeks and I walked the length of a Mall yesterday.

mattiemae,
Thanks for the response! That is absolutely amazing. I have not heard any stories like that from people I have talked with around here. (Minnesota) Was this really a total knee replacement or a partial? Do they have some new revolutionary surgical techniques up in Canada? Are you superwoman??

I am also at risk for Alzheimer’s (Mother had it) and I don’t need any push in that direction.

mnpat: I am also interested in that answer. My Mom had hernia surgery 11 yrs ago at age 92. She already had dementia, not severe, but the anesthesia and hospital stay really messed with her mind. Thanks for the web sites.. I’ll check them out. Jan

@mnpat

mattiemae,
Thanks for the response! That is absolutely amazing. I have not heard any stories like that from people I have talked with around here. (Minnesota) Was this really a total knee replacement or a partial? Do they have some new revolutionary surgical techniques up in Canada? Are you superwoman??

I am also at risk for Alzheimer’s (Mother had it) and I don’t need any push in that direction.

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It was a total knee replacement. Operation 9 am Wednesday, up to washroom 11pm Wednesday. Discharged at 5 PM Friday. Staples came out today (13 days after surgery). No pain killers at all after discharge.

I would get a knee replacement now, but, looking forward to “stem” cells. Without that to hope for – i would have had it replaced.

I asked Anesthesiologist friend @ your concern, (mine too) he said it does have to do with skill of Anesthesiologist – so me thinks your Doc would have to know who they r picking to do this important job.

@mattiemae

Hi,
I just had my knee replaced on December 21. I had an epidural (needle in spine). Also they gave me a relaxant medication -don’t know what it was. I am 77 years old.
I came out of operating room 2 hrs, later wide awake and bright as a daisy. Much better recovery as well. There were people who had the general anaesthetic who were still ‘out’. I am in Canada, so if they do an epidural on your country. I would highly recommend it. Less than 2 weeks and I walked the length of a Mall yesterday.

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Wow, impressive.

Thanks Mari. I think if I could follow in mattiemae’s footsteps I would schedule the knee replacement right now! Did your anesthesiologist friend have any comments on type of anesthesia or different anesthetic drugs?
Perhaps I should just move to Canada??

You don’t believe that stem cells can help?

My grandmother had knee replacement surgery several years ago now. She was about ten years younger then you when she decided it was the right option for her. The anesthesia did not have a terrible effect on her then- but since she has had other health issues and multiple surgeries. With each event and surgery the recovery has been a bit more complicated. She is now 78 and her advancing age, other health issues, and having multiple procedures in one year have become a lot for her to overcome. However, the future is never certain and the knee replacement did benefit her for a period of years.

The most important thing in my personal opinion is to decide based on what is best for you. It will be painful and a lot of hard work with no real guarantees- as with anything in life. Just remember an elective procedure is just that- a choice. Pray about it, get informed, and rally your support system. If you decide it’s what’s best for you be proactive and engage your care team early. You are already way ahead of the game. Good luck on your path to better health! You are in the driver seat on this one!

Thank you for your response. Everything you say is true. I am one month after surgery now and walking on my own inside and using a cane when walking my dog long distances which I do twice daily. I did have a setback a week ago and could not walk without severe pain. The doctor said I overdid it and I took another 4 days and tested more.
Your advice is very intelligent No I couldnt agree more.

@mattiemae

Thank you for your response. Everything you say is true. I am one month after surgery now and walking on my own inside and using a cane when walking my dog long distances which I do twice daily. I did have a setback a week ago and could not walk without severe pain. The doctor said I overdid it and I took another 4 days and tested more.
Your advice is very intelligent No I couldnt agree more.

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Mari, I am interested in the stem cell possibility and have done a little research. Great to know that it is being done at Mayo. However, it seems to me that this would be of benefit BEFORE you are “bone on bone.” I am assuming that the stem cells grow tissue and don’t effect the bone. I need to double check, but I believe that in looking at xray the doc said that I had already damaged the end of the bone and the positioning of the joint.

@mattiemae

Thank you for your response. Everything you say is true. I am one month after surgery now and walking on my own inside and using a cane when walking my dog long distances which I do twice daily. I did have a setback a week ago and could not walk without severe pain. The doctor said I overdid it and I took another 4 days and tested more.
Your advice is very intelligent No I couldnt agree more.

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I’m not qualified to answer you, but I’m supposed to be “bone on bone” – in quotes because if we r really bone on bone – our leg would be straight and not be able to bend at all.
I have a lite weight brace that I can use 4 v-ball and standing long or walking a long time. this is supposed to push my bone outward and open up a space for me to receive stem cells.
Keep searching and asking – Good Luck.

I’m almost 75and had extensive back surgery at 73. No problems at all from anesthetic but I’ve had many surgeries, all with good results. If you decide to have your knee done, really follow up with the physical therapy, exercises and eventually walking…even when it hurts. Ice afterward, you’ll heal faster and better. Good luck!

discusss this with your DRS. They should know what medications your r on and the possible interactions Also, what about NP surgery and exercise instead?

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