hip replacement successThe health risks of smoking are well documented, and thanks to clear warnings on packet labels and health service advertising campaigns, awareness of the dangers of smoking are better understood than they have ever been. Although the implications of smoking on the lungs and respiratory system are clearly understood, many people don’t realise that smoking can impact on many other areas of health and well-being. In fact, many people probably don’t realise that there could be a connection between smoking and hip replacement success.

Pioneering smoking research

According to new research undertaken by NYU (New York University) Langone, there is a link found between stopping smoking prior to hip replacement surgery and the overall success of the surgery. Although this research is yet to be corroborated by larger medical trials, the results are encouraging and support what many medical professionals already believe.

Patients who stopped smoking to enhance their recovery prospects saw a variety of benefits versus those who continued smoking. NYU Langone’s research concluded that “patients experienced better surgical outcomes and fewer adverse events including hospital readmissions, surgical site infections, and blood clots if they were enrolled in a smoking cessation program prior to surgery.”

The report suggests that merely suggesting that patients stop smoking is unlikely to be effective enough, it suggests that the real chance of success lies in offering a ‘smoking cessation’ programme to proactively and collaboratively help smokers quit ahead of their surgery.

Preparing for hip replacement success

Orthopaedic specialist Mr Simon Bridle supports the theory of this research and recommends that quitting smoking ahead of undergoing major surgery such as a hip replacement is likely to have a positive impact on the speed and quality of recovery.

There are in fact, several lifestyle changes that should be considered in order to make your recovery as good as possible. Eating more healthily is a good idea to improve overall health and nutrition, as it undertaking a regular programme of exercise. If you’re carrying more weight than is ideal for your frame then trying to lose a bit of weight is also sensible, as it will make overall mobility easier once you’re adapting to your new joint.

According to US company PeerWell, there is a handy checklist of six different things that you should consider setting up/undertaking before undergoing hip replacement surgery. This checklist is as follows:

  • Ensure you have support of family and friends – a network of available and willing helpers is crucial when you’re in the immediate recovery phase and are not yet as mobile as you will be when you’re fully recovered
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet – it is important to ensure your body is getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients
  • Exercise appropriately – ensuring that key muscle groups are worked out before and during recovery. Although everyone has heard of ‘rehabilitation’, the phrase ‘prehabilitation’ is being heard more and more at the moment. The theory of ‘pre-hab’ is that beginning an exercise regime to strengthen important muscles before surgery gives the body a head start on its recovery
  • Positive mental attitude – thinking positively and keeping a healthy frame of mind regarding your recovery is a great way to power through the early days and keep thinking ahead to the benefits your new hip will yield
  • “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – it is sensible to prepare your home for your recovery to give yourself less physical obstacles to overcome when moving around the home. Consider bulk preparing meals and freezing them too, so that some of the day to day tasks you will need to undertake are already taken care of.