Research appearing in the American Heart Association journal Stroke suggests that total hip replacement surgery patients face an increased risk of ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke following the first 2 weeks postsurgery. The study’s results indicate that patients’ risk of ischemic stroke increases by nearly 4.7-fold during this time, while the risk for hemorrhagic stroke increases 4.4-fold.
Conducting the evaluation 2 weeks following surgery comes in response to an increasing tendency to decrease the length of hospital stay as a result of improved therapy, explains Frank de Vries, PhD, PharmD, lead study author, assistant professor of pharmacoepidemiology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. During the study, the timing of strokes was reportedly evaluated within the first 2 weeks following surgery, in 2 to 6 weeks, 6 to 12 weeks, 3 to 6 months, and 6 to 12 months.
The results suggested that the risk of ischemic stroke remained elevated in the first 6 weeks following surgery and for the first 12 weeks for hemorrhagic stroke. “Up to 1 year following surgery, there is a diminishing risk of stroke after 6 weeks to 12 weeks,” de Vries says. “At one year, the stroke risk is comparable to those who did not undergo surgery,” he adds.
The researchers emphasize that they plan to continue their investigation of stroke risk following total hip replacement in a wider range of populations.