Nick Name : Stickney MD
Organization: Pro Ortho
12911 120th Avenue NE, Suite H-210
Kirkland WA

The Risk of Needing a Second Surgery


Shot of a wife comforting her husband lying in a hospital bedFor many patients, undergoing a total hip or knee arthroplasty may seem like the solution to joint pain and the opportunity to return to a more mobile, active lifestyle. However, the possibility of facing a secondary surgery may seem frustrating or daunting. Though the number of total hip and knee arthroplasties has risen in recent years, the incidence and prevalence of secondary surgeries isn’t well understood.

A new study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information sought to examine rates of incidence. First, researchers examined groups that either had total hip arthroplasty (1,933 subjects) or total knee arthroplasty (2,139 subjects) between 1969 and 2008.

Following-up after an average of 12 years from initial total hip arthroplasty, the researchers found that if a patient had a hip replacement on one sider, there was a 29% chance he or she would require a hip replacement on the other side. Those who underwent primary surgery at a younger age had a significantly high incidence of a follow-up operation.

For the total knee arthroplasties, the researchers followed up after an average of 11 years. They found that those who had a knee replacement on one side had a 45% chance of requiring a knee replacement on the other side within 20 years. However, only 3% of patients required a hip replacement on the opposite side of the body, and just 2% required a hip replacement on the same side of the body. Here, older age significantly contributed to the necessity of a second surgery.

These findings reveal that patients facing either a total hip or total knee arthroplasty have a 29 to 45% chance of needing secondary surgery on the opposite side of the body within 20 years of the original surgery. Struggling with joint pain?

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, can help you find the surgical or nonsurgical that will reduce discomfort and help you return to a healthy lifestyle. Contact his office today.

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