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Does wintertime hip fracture surgery increase risk of hip replacement?

Posted on: December 16, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas

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In a new study published in Osteoporosis International researchers suggest that having hip fracture surgery during winter months increases the risk of failed healing and subsequent need for a hip replacement after the operation.

Increasing evidence shows that season plays a prominent role in the risk of developing certain conditions. Much of the research on the relationship between season and risk of development of certain diseases and conditions has found that people are at an increased risk for conditions like depression, influenza, and impaired infantile development during the winter months.

Vitamin D status is considered to be one of the main suggested mechanisms responsible for the associations seen in these studies. Vitamin D levels are lower during winter months as people spend more time indoors and the sunlight doesn’t have enough energy to reach the surface of the earth in order for adequate vitamin D production.

With regards to fracture risk among older adults, vitamin D has long been associated with helping to maintain bone density, balance and falls throughout the aging process. Low vitamin D levels have shown to increase the risk of falling and the incidence of fractures from falls.

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