People undergoing total hip replacement are at higher risk of stroke

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International study involving the University of Southampton has shown that people who undergo a total hip replacement are at higher risk of a stroke in...

International study involving the University of Southampton has shown that people who undergo a total hip replacement are at higher risk of a stroke in the first two weeks after the surgery.

The study assessed about 66,000 people in Netherlands who had total hip replacements and compared them to people who shared their age and sex but did not have the procedure.

The results showed that the new patients were five times as likely to have an ischaemic stroke within the first two weeks after the total hip replacement and were four times as likely to have a haemorrhagic stroke post the same procedure.

Post the first two weeks, the risk dropped steadily and remained elevated during the first six weeks for ischaemic stroke and the first 12 weeks for haemorrhagic stroke.

The haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain and an ischemic stroke is caused by artery blockage.

Professor Cyrus Cooper Director of the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Edpidemiology Unit University of Southampton, was lead Rheumatologist of the study and co-author of the study’s paper.

Professor Cyrus said, “This research has demonstrated that there is a high risk of stroke to patients soon after having a total hip replacement and suggests that the use of soluble aspirin might be beneficial in reducing this risk. Normally we would have reservations about people taking aspirin everyday but our results suggest aspirin is a benefit and worthwhile to give to the patient before the surgery. The data is of huge clinical importance and shows the benefits of large cohort epidemiology studies”.  Professor Cyrus also said, “The number of hip replacement procedures will rise as we live longer. On average, the rate of hip replacement has already increased by over 25% between 2000 and 2009. These results will hopefully help healthcare professionals to provide improved services and help people who have hip replacements manage the risk of stroke after the procedure.”

There are number of factors that contribute to the risk of stroke after the surgery. The blood to the brain can be dilated during surgery, blood clots can also form in the blood vessels in the brain and there can be disorder to heart rhythms which increases risk of stroke. The effects of the anaesthetic can also contribute to the risk of stroke.

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