Post provided by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, particularly in the United States, and is a well-documented risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis. Arthritis is initially treated nonsurgically, but total joint replacement often becomes necessary if the disease progresses. Consequently, the rate of joint replacements in obese individuals has increased in the last several decades.
- Obese patients have double the rate of infection following total knee replacement surgery compared to non-obese patients.
- Obese patients’ rate of infection is higher for both superficial and deep infections.
- The long-term surgical revision rate for obese patients is nearly double that for non-obese patients.
The paper’s authors advise that knee replacement surgery not be withheld from obese patients. Rather, obese patients should be well-informed of the likelihood of complications following their total knee replacement, and advised to lose weight before surgery.