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Joint Replacement Patients with Diabetes Greatly Benefit from Controlled Glucose
Date:7/1/2009

New study finds controlled glucose levels help decrease chance for complications

ROSEMONT, Ill., July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Diabetics undergoing total joint replacement often are at a higher risk of experiencing complications after surgery due to various pre-existing health conditions. According to a new study published in the July 2009 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), those complications are less likely to occur when a diabetic patient has glucose levels under control.

"We found that controlled glucose levels really do make a difference for the patient," said study co-author Milford Marchant Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon who conducted the study with colleagues of the Adult Reconstruction Section at Duke University Medical Center.

The study found that patients with uncontrolled glucose levels were:

  • More than 3 times as likely to experience a stroke or death after joint replacement surgery; and
  • About twice as likely to experience post-operative bleeding and infection.

Dr. Marchant and his colleagues reviewed data from a national healthcare database looking at more than one million patients who had total joint replacement surgery from 1988 to 2005. They compared surgical outcomes in patients with uncontrolled glucose levels to those who had controlled glucose levels and those patients who did not have diabetes.

"It did not matter if the patient had Type I or Type II diabetes," explains Dr. Marchant. "Regardless of diabetes type, we found that patients had fewer complications after surgery if their glucose level was controlled before, during and after surgery."

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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