Increased risk of fractures after knee replacement surgery

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Increased risk of fractures after knee replacement surgery

According to the recent Swedish study, risk of hip and spinal fractures increases when people exercise after knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Caroline Messer, bone loss speciailist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, feels that the actual reason for the rise in fractures is not known. However, the enhanced agility and movement because of the knee replacement surgery may contribute to this rise. Messer, who directs the hospital's Center for Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Disorders, said that the patients who opted for surgery over conventional treatment may have been the same people who were determined to lead very active and therefore somewhat riskier lifestyles in the future.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 720,000 total knee replacement surgeries are done in the United States each year. C.H. Vala, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, was the controller of this recent study and included the medical accounts of Sweden born between 1902 and 1952. The medical records from 1987 to 2002 reported approximately 3200 total knee replacements and consequent hip fractures.

The researchers said that the risk of hip and spinal fractures was very low in the individuals with osteoarthritis in the decade before their knee replacement. But, there was a substantial increase in the risk of hip fracture by 4%  and spinal fracture by 19% after knee replacement.

This recent study was presented at the annual meeting of the International Osteoporosis Foundation in Malaga, Spain. It was also published in the journal Osteoporosis International.

In a foundation new release, Vala said the following words,“The increasing risk for hip and vertebral fracture in the 10 years after knee replacement may be explained by pain, increase of physical activity due to rehabilitation, and other biomechanical factors."

This study was not performed to find the causes and outcomes. But, the findings from the study suggested direction for further reseearch before making a concrete opinion about total knee replacement as a risk factor for future fractures."

Exploratory, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Knee, Hip, Spine
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