Drinking and Surgery on Knee or Hip: Later Disease and Death

What is the effect of alcohol on surgery and recovery? Knee replacement surgery was first performed in 1968. Today, over 600,000 knee replacements are occur each year in the U.S.

And hips were not far behind. By the early 1970s hip replacement surgery was being performed. And now over 300,000 are done each year in the country.


I.  Drinking and Surgery on Joints

II.  Source

III. Resources

I. Drinking and Surgery on Joints

Researchers wanted to learn the effects of drinking and hip or knee replacement and later disease and death.

They identified 30,799 patients who had knee or hip arthroplasty. That is, who had either surgical reconstruction or replacement of a hip or knee joint.

The scientists obtained data on the patients through the Danish Anesthesia Database. They had data on alcohol consumption before the operations. In addition they had data on disease and death after the operations.

drinking and surgeryWithin the first 30 days after their procedures, 209 patients acquired cardiovascular disease. 270 developed deep venous thrombosis. Within the first 90 days, there were 285 deaths. And within the first year, 514 patients developed prosthetic infection. Also within the first year, 694 died.

Low and moderate alcohol drinkers had much lower risks of mortality within both 90 days and one year after surgery. The drinkers also had much lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease within 30 days.

II. Source for Drinking and Surgery

Rotevatn, T., et al. Alcohol consumption and the risk of postoperative mortality and morbidity after primary hip or knee arthroplasty. A register-based cohort study. PLoS One, 2017, 12(3), Art No e0173083.

III. Resources on Hip and Knee Surgery

Downs, H. Steps toward Independence. A Patient Education Video for Hip and Knee Replacement Candidates. Bridgewater, NJ: Aventis, 2002. (Video)

Fischer, S. 100 Questions & Answers about Hip Replacement. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2011.

Grelsamer, R. What Your Doctor may not Tell You about Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery. Everything You need to Know to Make the Right Decisions. NY: Warner, 2004.

Hecht, M. A Practical Guide to Hip Surgery. From Pre-op to Recovery. North Branch, MN: Sunrise, 2012.

Kennon, R. Hip and Knee Surgery. A Patient’s Guide to Hip Replacement, Hip Resurfacing, Knee Replacement, & Knee Arthroscopy. Middlebury, CT: Orthopaedic Surgery, 2008.

Klapper, R. and Huey, L. Heal Your Hips. How to Prevent Hip Surgery and What to Do if You Need It. NY: Turner, 2015.

____________. Heal Your Knees. How to Prevent Knee Surgery & What to Do if You Need It. Lanham, MD: Evans, 2007.

O’Neill, D. Knee Surgery. The Essential Guide to Total Knee Recovery. NY: St. Martin’s, 2008.

Singh, K., et al. If You Have Knee Surgery. Pinnacle 2010. (Video)

Smith, T. Coping Successfully with Joint Replacement. Oxford: ISIS, 2002.

Note: This page makes no suggestions about drinking and surgery on the knee or hip.