It is common knowledge that smokers tend to face quite a health issues thanks to their nasty habit. What was not known was that some of the health issues extend well beyond those tied to their lungs. A new study shows that long-term smoking can hurt their chances of recovery from joint replacement surgeries.
According to a report by Eureka Alert, patients who are undergoing total hip or knee replacement can see an increased risk of infection if their lifestyle has included smoking over a long period of time. Most of these infections are more than something that can be done away with by taking a course of drugs. Most of those who suffer the side effects due to being smokers are going to have to go under the knife again.
The study’s senior author, Dr. Matthew S. Austin, told the publication that their results found that people who are currently smokers had a strikingly higher rate of septic reoperation than nonsmokers. He also said that each additional pack-year greatly added to total reoperations. Just how significant can smoking make the odds that you are going to have to have more than one operation on a joint? The study shows the risk shoots up to a whopping 80 percent for long-term smoking.
The good news is that the actual chances of infection are still very small especially within 90 days. The total risk is said to be about 0.71 percent. Still, smoking makes those odds jump up to 1.21 percent. When talking about someone having to have two surgeries on a joint like the knee, twice in three months, it’s a risk the researchers say smokers should avoid at all costs. It should also be pointed out those who smoke drive up the statistics when it comes to total risk of reinfection, considering nonsmokers have a rate of just 0.56 percent.
The numbers are even worse when it comes those who are going to more than one pack per day. Those who are going to more than one pack per day extra can see the chances of infection and surgery again by more than 50 percent. Because of the study, the researchers have said it pays to go through some kind of smoking cessation program in order to drive those risks back down. Just another reason for smokers around the world, especially as they age, to give up the dangerous habit.
What do you think of this study? Are you a smoker who might need joint replacement? Let us know in the comments below.
By Oliver VanDervoot