Smokers Face Greater Risk for Hip-Replacement Failure

Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 12:08 PM

By Nick Tate

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Add another health complication to the list of smoking-related maladies: New research has found tobacco users have a far greater risk of hip-replacement failures than non-smokers.
 
The findings, presented this week at a meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, are the latest to show smoking can lead to prolonged healing time and greater risk for complications of surgery.
 
For the study, researchers reviewed records of 110 total hip replacement patients between 2007 and 2009 who used tobacco products at the time of surgery or prior to surgery, then compared their post-operation recovery to a similar group of non-smokers.
 
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The results showed patients who smoked had a 92 percent survival rate compared to 99 percent for non-smokers. Nine of the smoking patients also required a second surgery to alleviate pain, repair a loose hip socket, or address problems caused by an infection.

Also, twice as many smokers (9.2 percent) required revision surgery as non-smokers (4.4 percent).
 
Because of the higher overall revision rate and incidence of other complications in smokers, the researchers recommended smoking cessation programs for all patients considering hip-replacement surgery.
 
More than one in four Americans have bone or joint problems, making them the greatest cause of lost work days in the U.S.

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