Malawi Medical Journal

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Hip and Knee Replacement in the HIV positive patient

ER Anand, LA Scott, WJ Harrison


Arthroplasty is used to relieve pain associated with degenerative or inflammatory joint disease, some post-traumatic joint problems, and avascular necrosis. Avascular necrosis, inflammatory and post-traumatic problems are seen on a regular basis in areas of high HIV seroprevalence. Degenerative arthritis is rare in younger HIV patients, however. Historically the only group of HIV patients in which arthroplasty has been common is that which received contaminated factor VIII transfusions in the 1980’s. Haemophiliacs get a haemophilic arthropathy from repeated bleeds into joints and so is an additional complication.
Much of the previous literature on this topic has focused on haemophiliac patients. This review examines the success of arthroplasty in HIV positive patients, with an emphasis on non-haemophiliac patients. We conclude that arthroplasty can be a safe procedure for HIV positive individuals if the surgery is carried out in good conditions, and early results are encouraging.

AJOL African Journals Online