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Joint Replacement Outcomes Differ in Diabetes Types

According to study findings presented during the meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Francisco, California, those with type 1 diabetes who undergo total hip or knee replacement fare worse than those with type 2 diabetes, who in turn fare worse than those without diabetes.

These results were based on a data analysis for 65,769 patients with diabetes who underwent hip replacement and were put on a database from 1998 to 2003.

“The biggest finding was that diabetes predicted higher complication rates, and this is obviously not a huge surprise,” said study researcher Dr. Michael P Bolognesi from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in a press statement. Dr. Bolognesi added that while those with the type 1 form of the disease did worse than those with type 2 diabetes, the very worst outcomes came from those with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Patients with type 1 diabetes were found to have stayed significantly longer in hospitals and had higher costs following surgery as compared with type 2 diabetics. They were also found to be at increased risk for heart attack, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, post-operative bleeding, wound infection, and death.

The study suggests that making sure that blood glucose levels are under control before the operation and during recovery can help these patients have better outcomes after joint replacement surgery.

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