Joint Replacement Failure 10 Times Higher Among Smokers

US researchers have found that people who smoke tobacco are at a greater risk of experiencing knee and hip replacement complications and failure.

Two new studies presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons investigated the possible association between smoking and joint implant failure. 

The first study which involved 621 patients with total knee replacement (TKR) surgery disclosed that the rate of failure was 10 times higher among smokers than nonsmokers.  The rate of medical complications such as blood clots, anemia, heart problems and kidney failure was “significantly higher” (21 percent) for tobacco users vs. 12 percent for non-smokers. 

The second study looked at 533 patients with ultraporous metal hip replacement which has been found to have fewer failures than standard metal implants. 

The failure rate in smoker patients was 9.1 percent compared with 3.4 percent in nonsmokers. 

The new findings provide more facts helping health workers and surgeons encourage and aid patients to successfully quit smoking before a joint replacement surgery.