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Genetics play a part in pain after hip replacement

Patients with a form of IL6 gene were more likely to need higher doses of pain medication
hip replacement

In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the contribution of genetic factors in the variability of patients’ experiences of pain and the effectiveness of pain management.

Hip replacement Photo: Getty

Interleukin 6 (IL6) is one of the genes implicated in pain pathology and response to treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the association between IL6 and the amount of opioid analgesia required after total hip replacement.

Considerable pain

Total hip replacement involves trauma to soft and bony tissues, and can result in considerable pain. The greater the amount of tissue injury, the more active the inflammation that can occur in the perisurgical region. After tissue injury, a proinflammatory cytokine encoded by IL6 is overproduced by many cells throughout the body. This activates the immune system, resulting in increased inflammation and greater stimulation of nociceptors in the damaged area relaying the sensation of pain.

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