Obesity can take a heavy toll a person’s joints. Every pound of body weight places four to six pounds of pressure on each knee joint.
The disease nearly doubles the risk of chronic pain among the eldery, particularly in tendons and ligaments.
It can also increase the risk of surgical complications and make recovery from orthopaedic surgery take longer, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Still, orthopaedic surgery can help minimize pain and improve bone and joint function for obese patients.
Losing Weight Before Surgery
Researchers from a recent study that examined obesity and surgery made the following recommendation for patients with a body mass index of 40 or greater:
- Lose weight before total joint arthroplasty.
- Take advantage of resources available to help lose weight before surgery.
- Consider the possible complications and inferior results that may occur without weight loss before surgery.
“While patients with obesity may experience slower recovery and higher risks of surgical complications that can compromise outcomes, outweighing the functional benefits of TJA in some cases, orthopaedic interventions still can provide improvements in quality of life for even super-obese patients,” a news release from the AAOS states.
Source: American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
+ Learn about advanced techniques used in total joint replacement at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists, which helps patients recover faster.
+ Read about the benefits of a direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery.