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RE NSAIDS & Surgery

Posted by Dorothy on 6/30/04 at 08:58 (154205)

This topic has been touched on a few times here. This article appeared recently; please note journal and date. Please also note differentiation between bone injury and soft-tissue mentioned.

Painkillers Inhibit Bone Healing

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers known as NSAIDs continue to be prescribed for patients as part of their recovery for healing fractures even though using these medications have been found to diminish bone healing, formation and remodeling.

NSAIDs block cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes that create prostaglandins, chemicals in the body that cause inflammation that can lead to problems with indigestion and cause ulcers. Several of the prostaglandins, created by COX-1 enzymes, are also important in forming new bones that promote healing.

As a result, researchers believe NSAIDs exert significant effects on the slowing of bone formation after injuries, the healing of fractures and the growth of bone around prostheses. In some cases, however, some NSAIDs have a positive effect on soft-tissue healing by stimulating collagen that can increase the strength in the early phases of skin and ligament healing, but results have been inconclusive.

Researchers recommended in cases of healing fractures and spinal fusions, NSAIDs should be avoided at all costs.

Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons May-June 2004;12(3):139-43