People undergoing knee or hip replacement become more at risk for heart attack inthe months following the surgery.
Osteoarthritis: the fitting of a prosthesis increases the cardiac risk after the operation
According to a study published in the medical journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, patients who suffer from arthritis and undergoing hip arthroplasty (surgery intendedto regain the mobility of the articulation) of the knee or hip have a much higher riskof heart attack in the months following the operation.
For this study, Pr Yuqing Zhang, Professor of medicine and epidemiology at the school of medicine, Boston, analyzed the medical records of more than 19 000 patientsover the age of 50 years and having undergone a total replacement surgery of the knee as well as a group of more than 6,000 people with osteoarthritis of the hip andhaving undergone replacement surgery.
During the follow-up period (4 years on average), 306 patients with osteoarthritis ofthe knee with Arthroplasty have had a heart attack, compared to 286 patients who have not undergone surgery. The researchers also noted that it is in the month that followed the intervention patients were most at risk.
In the group having undergone a hip operation, 128 have had a heart attack against138 in the control group. But for the hip, it is within 6 months of the operation thatthe risk appears to be the most important.
The researchers also found that patients who have undergone hip or knee arthroplasty were more high-risk deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism after theprocedure, compared with control patients.
Although the exact mechanisms behind an increased risk of heart attack after a common surgery for osteoarthritis are unclear, the team notes that some biological drivers could be at stake, such as the effects of anesthesia on the cardiovascular system.