Lowering the Risk of Hip Replacement Infections

Lowering the Risk of Hip Replacement Infections

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Those aged 65 and older have the highest population of hip replacements, and a new study may help patients know the most important risk factors for developing severe infection after hip replacement.

In a new study by researchers from the Musculoskeletal Research Unit at the University of Bristol, they found that patients who are under 60 years old, males, those with chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes and a higher body mass index have a higher chance of having the joint replacement redone due to infections. Scientists used data from the National Joint Registry and analyzed 600,000 primary hip replacement patients, of whom 2,705 underwent revision for infection.

“Total hip replacement, used mainly to treat pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis, is a common procedure with over 100,000 operations performed annually in the UK,” stated in the press release. “A rare but serious complication affecting about one per cent of patients is deep infection. This causes considerable distress and frequently requires long and protracted treatments including revision.”

Patients whose surgery was performed via a posterior surgical approach and used implant bearings to contain ceramic had a lower chance of developing an infection. There was a higher chance of infection for those receiving hip replacements due to a hip fracture.

"The results of this work are very useful to me as a surgeon and to my patients. It gives me the information I need to accurately advise patients about their risk of this devastating complication when undergoing hip replacement,” said Michael Whitehouse, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery. “The study also enables me to plan my surgery to minimize the risk for patients, for example using the posterior approach and ceramic heads. It will also provide information for the development of new patient resources to provide patients with better information to make decisions about their treatment."

 

With the information researchers have gathered from this study, they will now look into if there are similar patterns and risk factors for those who undergo knee replacement surgery.  

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Jodelle Maglaya
Jodelle Maglaya

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