Pharmaceutical

Smokers more likely to experience problems with hip replacements

 Smokers more likely to experience problems with hip replacementsSmokers who undergo hip replacement surgery take longer to heal after their operations, experience more complications, and are more likely to need revision surgery to repair or replace their implant, a new study reveals.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Researchers reviewed data from 300 patients who underwent hip replacement surgery between 2007 and 2009. A third of the patients were smokers. Researchers found that patients who smoked had an 8 percent chance of their implants failing compared to 1 percent for nonsmokers.

Of the nine revision surgeries among smokers, four were to due to pain or to repair a loose hip socket, and five were due to infection.

The study does not tell what type of hip replacement device patients had. Traditional hip implants, which can last up to 20 years or more, are made with plastic or ceramic parts; however, in the past decade medical device manufacturers began making some implants with all metal parts. These devices were designed to be more durable and last longer, but studies revealed that the metal-on-metal hip implants were actually failing at a much higher rate than traditional implants. Not only were the devices failing, they were also corroding inside the body causing a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis.

In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson recalled its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The company now faces more than 10,000 lawsuits from patients who claim to have suffered injury from the defective hip implants. Lawsuits have also been filed against other brands of metal-on-metal hip systems.

Source: Daily Mail