Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: February 2013 - Volume 471 - Issue 2 - p 504–509 doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2540-z Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of The Hip Society

Alcohol Use in Elective Total Hip Arthroplasty: Risk or Benefit?

Lavernia, Carlos, J., MD1, a; Villa, Jesus, M., MD2; Contreras, Juan, S., MD2

Background Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with adverse health measures after elective surgery. The effects of low or moderate consumption remain unclear.


Question/purposes We determined differences among patients with different consumption levels in (1) preoperative and postoperative patient-perceived outcomes and hip scores, (2) changes in those scores from preoperatively to postoperatively, (3) demographics and comorbidities, and (4) length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization charges.


Methods We retrospectively reviewed 191 patients (218 primary hips). Based on a self-administered consumption questionnaire, patients were stratified into three groups: (1) nondrinkers (n = 52), (2) occasional drinkers (n = 56), and (3) moderate drinkers (n = 17). Demographics, BMI, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and American Society of Anesthesiologists grade; preoperative and postoperative Quality of Well-being Scale, SF-36, WOMAC, Harris hip, and Merle d’Aubigné-Postel hip scores; and LOS and hospital charges were obtained and compared among groups adjusting for patient characteristics. Minimum followup was 1 year (mean, 3.5 years; range, 1-6 years).


Results Most abstainers were older, female, and Hispanic. Preoperatively, moderate drinkers had better WOMAC function and total scores and Harris hip scores. There were no differences postoperatively among groups. However, nondrinkers had greater improvement (preoperative to postoperative) in the WOMAC function, pain, and total scores. Compared to nondrinkers, moderate drinkers had a higher contribution margin and net income.


Conclusions Alcohol consumption is more common among men and non-Hispanics. Moderate consumption was associated with better WOMAC and Harris hip scores. After surgery, abstainers achieved greater improvements in the WOMAC function, pain, and total scores.


Level of Evidence Level III, prognostic study. See the Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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