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Healthy lifestyle, positive attitude can help improve patient outcomes
Date:2/16/2011

Joint replacement patients who improve their lifestyle and maintain a positive mindset prior to surgery are more likely to have better functional outcomes than those who do not, according to research presented today at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Multiple studies found that patients who smoke, misuse alcohol, fail to control blood sugar levels or simply have a poor attitude prior to undergoing total hip or knee replacement (THR/TKR) surgery can, in some cases, double their odds of post-operative complications.

Data were presented in three separate studies and one instructional course by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Alabama, the Orthopedic Institute in Miami and the University of Massachusetts.

"Some known risk factors for complications like advanced age and pre-existing heart or lung conditions are difficult or impossible to modify prior to surgery," said Jasvinder Singh, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. "In contrast, smoking, alcohol abuse, blood sugar levels and mental attitude are completely manageable by the patients themselves, which makes them an excellent target for prevention and intervention programs that are likely to improve outcomes."

Smoking (now or ever) raises patient risks (Embargo: February 17)

Dr. Singh, who also is a staff physician at the Birmingham VA (Veterans' Affairs) Medical Center, led a team of researchers who examined whether current or prior tobacco use had an effect on post-operative recovery in veterans undergoing elective THR or TKR.

The study found that current smokers had 41 percent higher odds of site infections (SSI) than those who had never smoked before. Current smokers also had significantly higher odds of pneumonia (53 percent,) stroke (161 percent) and one-year mortality (63 percent,) compared to never smokers.

Prior smokers were at highe
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Contact: Lauren Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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