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Researchers study impact of obesity, smoking on individual's healing capacity post fracture surgery

ANI | Updated: Nov 23, 2019 12:49 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 23 (ANI): While the adverse effects of both obesity and smoking on an individual's bone health are known, a little is known about their impact on the healing power of patients who underwent a fracture surgery.
To study the same, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) examined the effects of obesity and smoking on the healing power of patients.
Fractures like wrist, distal radius are some of the commonly known and account for 5 per cent to 20 per cent of all emergency room fracture visits, and affected patients can experience challenges with daily living as well as potentially serious and costly complications.
In this study published in the Journal of Hand Surgery, researchers analyzed data on patients surgically treated for a distal radius fracture between 2006 and 2017 at two trauma centres.
The 200 patients were divided into obese and non-obese groups (39 and 161 patients, respectively) and were also characterized as current, former, and never smokers (20, 32, and 148 patients, respectively) based on self-reported cigarette use.
At three-month and one-year follow-ups after surgery, both the obese and non-obese groups achieved acceptable scores that pertained to patient-reported function in the upper extremity - close to those of the general population.
The two groups were also similar in regards to a range of motion and bone alignment. At three months, smokers demonstrated worse scores related to arm, shoulder, and hand function and a lower percentage of healed fractures, but these effects improved over the course of a year. Complications were similar between groups.
"Overall we found that we can achieve excellent clinical and radiographic outcomes with surgery for displaced wrist fractures in patients who are obese and in those who smoke," said senior author Tamara D. Rozental, MD, Chief of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at BIDMC and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
"Our results show that treatment for distal radius fractures in obese and smoking patients is safe, and these patients may be treated as the general population with similar long-term results. Their short-term outcomes, however, demonstrate higher disability and, in the case of smokers, slower fracture healing," Rozental added.
Rozental stressed that obesity and smoking are currently considered among the two most important preventable causes of poor health in developed nations, and both are modifiable risk factors.
"As such, we believe that lifestyle interventions focusing on weight loss and smoking cessation should be emphasized whenever possible," she said. (ANI)