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Smoking Inhibits Knee Replacements

June 3, 2012

 

A recent study shows that smokers have a harder time with knee replacement surgery than non-smokers.  That’s not a surprise.  But what is surprising is that the research said there was no difference between current smokers and patients that had quit.

Dr. Michael Mont, director of the Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement said, “It could be that the damage was already done.  When you smoke and stop, you improve your health, but you still have build-up in your system. That may be why we didn’t see a difference.”

The study, which was presented at the annual Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in San Francisco, examined 600 knee replacements in 60 – 65 year old patients.  About 20% of the patients were smokers.  Problems related to surgery like failing kidneys, blood clots, and abnormal heart rhythms affected 21% of the smokers compared to 12% of the non-smokers.  Smokers were ten times more likely to have a revision surgery to fix things that went wrong than non-smokers.

One of the last treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee is knee replacement surgery.

 



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