NHS England defines frailty as ‘where someone is less able to cope with and recover from accidents, physical illness or other stressful events’1. As the population ages, so frailty rates increase, presenting challenges to care systems. Elective hip and knee replacement patients undergo pre-surgical checks to ensure they are able to cope with their procedure. This means that frailty rates tend to be lower than in the non-elective population, such as traumatic hip fracture, where pre-surgical checks are generally not possible or appropriate. Nonetheless, there are frail patients in the elective joint replacement population and these patients tend to have poorer outcomes, in particular increased likelihood of a prolonged hospital stay2. Managing these patients effectively can improve outcomes and reduce resource burdens for care providers.
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