Alcoholism: A rising cause for hip replacement, say doctors

A young man has recently undergone a hip replacement surgery at Sahyadri Hospital in Pune. The doctor says the condition was caused due to excessive alcohol. Experts say the condition is growing higher among young alcoholic men

 

Alcoholism: A rising cause for hip replacement, say doctors

With the festival season upon us there is a lot of fun and frolic seen all around. It is during this season that Prasad Mohite (name changed) came rushing to Sahyadri Hospital to meet Dr Abhijit Agashe complaining about his inability to walk, even though he is just 31.

“I get a lot of such patients who complain of hip pain in the beginning, but this, gradually leads to avascular necrosis, a condition that requires hip replacement surgery. In Mohite’s case that is what happened. Hip replacement surgery, at the age of 31 is not a very pleasurable thing, especially when it is inflicted by alcohol,” said Dr Agashe, Joint replacement surgeon at Sahyadri Hospitals, Pune.

Avascular necrosis is a condition which, in most cases ends up in a need for hip replacement for the patient. “Basically, avascular necrosis means lack of blood supply in the region, mostly hip leading to destruction. Excessive smoking is also a major catalyst for this. However, its exact cause is sudden and unknown,” said Dr Miten Sheth, consulting Orthopaedic Surgeon in North Mumbai as well as member of Bombay Orthopaedic Society.

The doctor further explains that the condition was caused due to excessive alcohol. Experts say the condition is growing higher among young alcoholic men, mostly in the working populace. Consuming several alcoholic drinks a day for several years also can cause fatty deposits to form in your blood vessels, leading to lack of blood circulation in the region.

Another expert from Mumbai says it is important to understand that it is a rising disease specifically in the younger generation.

Dr Sanjay Agarwala, Director- Professional Services, Head of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre  said, “The plausible explanation for the connection between alcohol and avascular necrosis can be termed as pure allergic manifestations to the steroids, of which 25 per cent can be due to alcohol. I have now started advanced treatment for necrosis in non-surgical ways. However, the matter of the fact remains that there is a very strong connection between alcohol and avascular necrosis.”

He added, “Since January to August in this year itself, I have performed 46 hip replacement surgeries, of 134 people complained of necrosis. The important point to understand is that avascular necrosis is a very painful disease. In the final stage of this condition a person can’t walk at all.”

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Also called osteonecrosis, avascular necrosis can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone’s eventual collapse. The blood flow to a section of bone can be interrupted if the bone is fractured or the joint becomes dislocated.