• Smoking linked to worse outcomes in joint replacement

    Two studies presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon highlight the dangers that smoking poses to patients receiving total knee or hip implants.

    The researchers found that the overall revision rate – meaning the number of surgeries that had to be redone – was 10 times higher for smokers compared with nonsmokers: 10 percent vs. 1 percent. Smokers also had a significantly higher rate of complications compared with non-smokers (21 percent vs. 12 percent), including blood clots, abnormal heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, urinary tract infection and kidney failure.

    Quitting’s not easy, but it’s worth it, says Dr. Lombardi. “The effect of nicotine may persist, but obviously it will [lessen] if you stop.”

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  • Can oral bacteria cause a joint replacement to fail?

    Researchers at Case Western Reserve University may have found a potential link between gum disease and joint health, with particular implications for failing joint replacements. Working collaboratively, dental, orthopedic and arthritis specialists tested the DNA in synovial fluid in 36 patients with both native and replacement joints. Some samples showed the presence of oral bacteria in the fluid, which the scientists suggest could be contributing to aseptic loosening or excessive wear in joint replacement patients when no infection is present.

    Though the results were modest, the study's authors say that this confirms a pathway for oral bacteria between the mouth and joints. This adds to the body of literature showing the relationship between dental disease and other conditions, including heart disease and stroke.

    Further, they recommend that patients with arthritis or failed prosthetic joints be examined for the presence of periodontal diseases and be treated accordingly and suggest that appropriate treatment of periodontal disease may help prevent joint replacements. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.

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  • Indications and techniques for hip arthroscopy continue to evolve

    "Hip arthroscopy is an evolving science," Charles A. Bush-Joseph, MD, of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in Chicago, told Orthopedics Today. "We are clearly better able to more accurately diagnose hip and groin conditions. Industry is catching up. There has been dramatic innovation in the equipment surgeons use to perform these types of procedures, making them more reliable and reproducible."

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  • High impact sports reduce durability of hip implants

    French researchers have confirmed that high-impact sport, such as jogging or soccer, increases the risk of total hip arthroplasty mechanical failure, according to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

    “Since participation in sport is now a reality for a significant number of total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients, surgeons may need to adapt their choices of bearing surfaces in implants to accommodate this growing trend,” the authors wrote.

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  • Four Area Hospitals Ban Sugary Drinks

    Do you know just one sugary drink a day can make you fat? Medical experts say they're the biggest culprit when it comes to obesity.

    CBS 2′s Roseanne Tellez has details on a first-of-its-kind medical conference, right here in Chicago.

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  • Sugary drinks out at 4 Chicago-area hospitals

    Obesity rates are staggering in this country, and some experts say that is reason enough to cut back on sugary drinks.

    Vanguard Health announced Wednesday it will phase out sugary drinks at the four hospitals it operates in the Chicago area. That news came during a "Rethink Your Drink" symposium held at Rush University Medical Center.

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  • Can surgery help you stay in the game?

    Demand for joint replacement surgery, once confined largely to patients well past retirement age, has been growing rapidly among a class of people doctors have dubbed the “young actives’’ - those in the 45 to 64 age group who are determined to stay fit.

    Still, even with the rise of obesity and longer lives, public health researchers say the rate of joint replacement failures requiring revisions is about 1 percent a year, mostly in the relatively younger patients who “outlive’’ the 10-to-20-year working life spans of their replacement joints. And as technique and technology have improved, the rates of infection, dislocations, and other complications have declined.

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  • Untreated varicose veins put patients at greater DVT risk following THA

    As the search continues for methods to reduce deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism risk in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty, researchers have found increased rates of deep vein thrombosis within 90 days of undergoing total hip arthroplasty among patients with untreated varicose veins.

    “Overall patients should consider having their varicose veins treated prior to undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) in an attempt to reduce DVT [deep vein thrombosis],” Anahita Dua, MD, of Brookfield, Wisc., said at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2012 Annual Meeting, here.

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  • ACR approves standardized measures to determine RA disease activity

    A working group organized by the American College of Rheumatology has analyzed more than 60 disease activity measures for rheumatoid arthritis and recommended six measures that can be applied in clinical practice, according to a press release. The analysis by the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Clinical Disease Activity Measures Working Group apppear in Arthritis Care & Research.

    “Our goal was to determine which RA disease activity measures could accurately distinguish the various levels of RA activity and would also be reasonable to implement in clinical practice,” Salahuddin Kazi, MD, from the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Texas and a lead study investigator, stated in a press release.

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  • Some seniors at greater risk of falls and hip fractures due to undiagnosed neurological disorders

    Hip fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. Cervical myelopathy is a common neurological condition that can diminish balance and coordination. Undiagnosed neurological disorders may predispose patients to falls and fractures. Screening for cervical myelopathy should be standard care for all hip fracture patients, to reduce the risk for additional falls and fractures.

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