Many studies of joint replacement in the aged population include a wide spectrum of geriatric patients ranging from relative healthy and otherwise vigorous younger-elderly to small numbers of much older patients with many comorbid problems. To clarify the latter patient subset we assessed the results of total hip and knee arthroplasties done on a group of frail elderly patients. We retrospectively reviewed the preoperative and postoperative charts and radiographs of 130 patients who were at least 80 years when they had a total joint arthroplasty. One hundred arthroplasties (70 hips, 30 knees) were done. On a subjective grading scale, 95% of the patients were very satisfied, 5% reported satisfactory outcomes and no patients considered their results poor. After surgery, 90% of the patients became community walkers without assistance. The level of independent living was maintained in 97% of patients at long-term followup. Causes of morbidity included two infections, one dislocation, and one leg-length discrepancy. This study specifically addresses the outcomes of total joint replacement in elderly patients who are frail. We show that satisfactory and cost-effective health outcomes can be anticipated after total joint arthroplasties in this age group.