Hip and knee replacement have long been known for their ability to reduce pain and increase a person’s mobility. Now, patients who have these procedures may also reduce their risk for “cardiac events,” such as stroke and heart attack.
Researchers found that total joint replacement – often called TJR – helps people become more active, which has “direct benefits for hypertension, obesity and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and all of which are highly prevalent in individuals with osteoarthritis,” said Dr. Bheeshma Ravi, an orthopaedic surgeon and lead author of the study, published in British Medical Journal.
In fact, the study found a 40 percent reduction in the likelihood of heart attack, stroke or other “cardiovascular event,” according to a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease of the joints affecting one-third of people over the age of 65. It causes pain and hampers a person’s ability to do daily activities such as walking and running errands. Lack of physical activity is a major risk for cardiovascular disease.
For their study, researchers pored through medical data and outcomes of patients who were at least 55 years old and had hip and knee arthritis between 1996 and 1998. Half of the patients had total joint replacement.
“The study authors concluded that TJR has a cardioprotective benefit in persons with moderate-to-severe arthritis of the hip or knee, possibly due to the increase capability for moderate physical activity…” the release states.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
+ Read more about the benefits of exercise and osteoarthritis.
+ Read about advances in total joint replacement at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists.