Research Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 8, P1526-1529, September 2012

Acute Delirium and Poor Compliance in Total Hip Arthroplasty Patients With Substance Abuse Disorders

Published:February 10, 2012DOI:


      From the joint registry of 2831 primary total hip arthroplasties (2351 patients) performed between 1998 and 2003, we identified 15 patients (16 hips) who had a documented history of substance abuse disorders at the time of the index surgery. The patients included 13 men (14 hips) and 2 women (2 hips), with the mean age of 49 years (range, 29-65 years). On the basis of the criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, 13 patients had alcohol abuse disorders, 1 had amphetamine abuse disorder, and 1 had heroin abuse disorder. We found high rates of postoperative substance withdrawal delirium and psychosis (46%), late complication (25%), and lost to follow-up (27%) in these patients. Because patients with substance abuse disorders have unexpected perioperative psychotic episodes, poor compliance, and a tendency to not follow medical advice after surgery and show early discontinuation of follow-up, we suggest that surgeons should work with other medical professionals and carefully perform total hip arthroplasty in such patients.


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