Ozempic's impact on total hip replacements


Two studies presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon's 2024 conference examined the impact that the drug semaglutide, which is sold as Ozempic to treat Type 2 diabetes and as Wegovy for weight loss, could have on patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty. 

The AAOS has warned that diabetes and obesity increase a person's risk of having a medical or surgical complication after joint replacement, such as wound healing problems and infection.

The two new studies, sent to Becker's on Feb. 12, have found that patients who take semaglutide at the time of a total hip replacement experience similar postoperative outcomes to those who do not take the drug.

For the first study, researchers set out to determine how Wegovy affected postsurgical outcomes in obese patients.. The average patient age was 62.7 years, and 55% were female. The average patient BMI was 35.5, which is considered obese. 

Researchers found that postoperative complications after total hip replacement are similar between obese patients using semaglutide compared to those who did not. Both cohorts, which totaled 616 patients, experienced a similar risk of hip arthroplasty revision, prosthesis infection, opioid-related disorders, surgical site infections, mortality, respiratory failure, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, postoperative dehydration, cardiovascular comorbidities, shock and prosthesis dislocations.

The second study sought to evaluate whether diabetic patients who were taking semaglutide at the time of total hip arthroplasty demonstrated fewer medical complications, fewer implant-related complications, fewer readmissions and less cost. 

Researchers found that diabetic patients who were taking semaglutide at time of their surgeries did not demonstrate statistically significant higher rates of complications compared with controls, had lower rates of readmission within 90 days of surgery and lower rates of prosthetic joint infection. There was no difference between groups for any other implant-related complication and no difference between cohorts for lengths of stay, same-day surgical costs or 90-day episode of care costs.

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