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Smoking Hikes Risk of Knee and Hip Replacement Failure in Arthritis Patients.

Smoking Hikes Risk of Knee and Hip Replacement Failure in Arthritis Patients

By , About.com GuideMay 19, 2012

Hip and knee replacement surgery is not uncommon for arthritis patients, especially those with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Two studies presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) revealed that smoking is harmful for knee and hip replacement patients. According toTime.com, the first study evaluated over 600 knee replacements performed between 2005 and 2009 in arthritis patients who were in their 60s. About 115 of the study participants were smokers. Researchers found that the rate of revision surgeries was 10 times greater for smokers compared to non-smokers. Surgical complications were almost twice as common for smokers compared to non-smokers. There was no apparent difference between current smokers and past heavy smokers, suggesting smoke does irreparable damage.

The second study assessed 535 hip replacements in 500 patients between 1999 and 2009. Researchers found a 6.2% failure rate at about 18 months. After smoking habits were factored in, researchers found smokers had an 11% failure rate compared to 5.3% in previous smokers, and 3.8% in non-smokers. Researchers concluded that quitting smoking helps to decrease the risk of joint replacement failure.

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