People who have diabetes may be at greater risk after joint surgery. Over twenty-five million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and this can cause problems in the nervous, vascular and immune systems.
Diabetes and joint replacement
About eight percent of people who have joint replacement surgeries have diabetes. While diabetes is potentially connected to poorer outcomes from surgery, the prognosis is related to how well the diabetes is controlled.
How does it work?
The diabetic needs to control her blood sugar levels. Part of how a diabetes patient manages the disorder is through taking insulin. In addition, she needs to watch her weight and stay fit through proper diet and exercise. When this is done properly, all of her outcomes will be more positive. A person who has diabetes can live a completely normal and healthy life. Conversely, if poorly managed, there can be negative consequences, such as morbidity or even mortality.
People who have diabetes may be at a very high risk for greatly increased blood sugar levels after joint surgery. They are also at greater risk for developing complications and infections. These outcomes may mean longer hospitalizations and potentially a second round of surgery.
The key to preventing this is efficient glucose level management, as is in most health situations for diabetics. If glucose levels are generally not well-managed, the diabetic must get it under control before a joint replacement. If it’s generally well-manages, taking it up a notch will get you the best case scenario results.
One of the issues that can affect any diabetic is wound healing. Even if the patient does not encounter complications or infection, it can take longer for a wound to heal. This can also lead to infection, as the site of the incision is exposed for a longer period of time.
A new study, put out together by researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, found that after surgery, patients who’d had insulin-dependent diabetes had critically-spiked blood sugar levels. This study took a different spin than previous research that addressed this issue. It compared diabetics who take insulin and diabetics who don’t. It found that the more severe cases of diabetes have a much higher risk for acutely higher glucose levels after surgery.
Results and recommendations
Some doctors will not recommend joint surgery for patients who need it if their diabetes is not well-managed. Even if a patient needs the surgery, the doctor may decide that the risks are too great.
If someone feels that the operation will improve her life, he will need to start a new program of proper diet and exercise to make it happen.
If the diabetic is in good health and can undergo the surgery, she’ll need excellent post-operative care to help the recovery process. The Alameda Center offers top-level care for patients who undergo joint replacement surgery. Our staff of doctors, nurses and other staff will give your loved one exceptional services to heal fast and well.