Webinar on Joint Replacements and Bleeding Disorders Opens HFA Series

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by Mary Chapman |

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Next year’s Hemophilia Federation of America’s (HFA) monthly educational series for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers opens on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. EST with a presentation about joint replacements for bleeding disorder patients.

The speaker for the first of the 12 HFA webinars planned for 2022 is James Luck Jr., MD, director of surgical services and rehabilitation at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children at UCLA Health. His specialties include hemophilia, bone and soft tissue tumors, physical therapy, and joint damage and reconstruction. Registration is here.

“Important decisions about managing your bleeding disorder arise at various stages, but few decisions are as complex and layered as whether and when to pursue joint replacements. In HFA’s first educational webinar of the year, Dr. James Luck Jr. will cover the ins and outs of joint replacement specifically for those with bleeding disorders,” Eric Burgeson, HFA’s manager of education, said in a press release.

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“Pursuing joint replacement with a bleeding disorder is not a simple topic. Making a choice to replace a joint requires education — from specific to joint types, to bleeding disorder types, age and lifestyle differences for each patient,” Burgeson added.

Joint disease is a common complication in hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Patients can bleed into a joint — a condition known as hemarthrosis — after an injury, or sometimes for no apparent reason.

As blood fills a joint cavity, commonly those of elbows, ankles, and knees, increasing pressure can cause significant pain and lead to chronic swelling, as well as deformities. Repeated bleeding into the same joint, or even a single serious joint bleed, can result in joint damage. To compound matters, pain and stiffened joints often cause patients to be less active, which further worsens complications.

In terms of joint replacement, while each case is different, a single-center study in South Korea found that most hemophilia patients who undergo knee replacement surgery have positive outcomes, including less pain and improved joint function.

“We will cover many important topics in 2022, one main focus is joint health,” said Heather Case, HFA’s director of education. “Joint health, pain management, and mental health are intrinsically related and arguably, joint health is a root issue for our community.”

Luck has been involved with the Hemophilia Treatment Center since 1968 and is a global leader in the field of joint reconstruction, having performed more reconstructive surgeries on hemophilia patients than most other surgeons in the world.

The HFA is a patient education, services, and advocacy organization that serves the rare bleeding disorders patient and caregiver community.