Some Arthritis Cases Face More Complications than Others

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Rheumatoid arthritis in hips and knees can often lead to surgery.People who suffer from long-standing joint pain in their hips often choose surgery without considering alternatives. But, a new wide-ranging study has indicated that for certain patients—those with rheumatoid arthritis, as compared to osteoarthritis—joint replacement surgery carries a higher risk of complications.

After examining 40 studies on the subject, researchers at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada, found that rheumatoid arthritis patients faced a higher risk for hip dislocation after hip replacement surgery, compared to osteoarthritis patients. They also experienced a higher rate of infection after surgery.

(Stop taking herbs before surgery:

Combined, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis make up the majority of joint pain causes. Osteoarthritis affects far more people; 27 million Americans, as compared to the 1.3 million who suffer rheumatoid arthritis (which is an autoimmune problem).

It’s been well established that total joint replacement can be quite effective for end-stage arthritis of the hip or knee. That success has bred rising numbers of people seeking surgery—676,000 knee and 327,000 hip replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2009. Clinically referred to as “joint arthroplasty,” replacement surgery can successfully eradicate pain and disability caused by arthritis. Complication rates from the surgery are considered low, but there are potential serious consequences like infection, joint dislocation, blood clots…even death.

The new study addressed information from 1990 to 2011 on adult patients who had hip or knee replacements due to arthritis. Their analysis shows that rheumatoid arthritis patients had a higher risk of dislocation and higher risk of infection after hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery. There were no differences in rates of 90-day mortality or blood clot risk.

While surgery may be the only option for many rheumatoid arthritis patients, they should be aware of the risks involved.

There are natural methods to help prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, most of them related to diet. People who are at risk of rheumatoid arthritis should reduce the amount of red meat in their diet, while increasing the amount of vitamin D and five other nutrients they consume. Those who already have rheumatoid arthritis can slow its advance by trying yoga or a number of traditional Chinese remedies.

Sources for Today’s Articles:
Some Arthritis Cases Face More Complications than Others
Ravi, B., et al., “A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Comparing Complications following Total Joint Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis versus Osteoarthritis,” Arthritis & Rheumatism, published online November 28, 2012.
Jump, D., et al., “Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and cardiovascular disease: Thematic Review Series: New Lipid and Lipoprotein Targets for the Treatment of Cardiometabolic Diseases,” J. Lipid Res. 2012; 53(12): 2,525-2,545.