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arthritis and HIV
Oct 1, 2004

My husband has been HIV+ since 1989. He also has degenaritive arthritis in both legs at the hip. He desparately needs hip replacement surgery on both sides of his hip. My question is how compromising are the drugs they give you to suppress your immune system so the replacement will take? He has been on the same HIV meds (combivir and viramune) for 7 years. His viral load is undetectable and his cd4 is 736. Is it to much of a wrist for him to take a chance building up a resistance from the immune suppressing drugs? How successful is this operation for HIVer's? How complicated is the recovery process? By the way he has Hep C too. Any insight you can give us would be appreciated.

Response from Dr. Henry

I have had numerous patients undergo hip replacement surgery. Generally they have done well though it is a tough rehabilitation process for most patients (HIV or not). I have seen post operative infections, blood clots-etc in my HIV + patients which also occur in the HIV- population. Once recovered (such as 6 months out) my patients genererally have been pleased with the outcome and would do it again. HIV+ patients who are doing well generally do fine with surgery. KH



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