In the past, obese patients who are looking to be evaluated for a knee or hip replacement surgery go home disheartened. They are often told by their providers to come back when they’ve lost X number of pounds. But for a lot of these patients, losing that much weight isn’t always that easy, especially with the debilitating pain from arthritis.
Why doctors recommend losing weight
Doctors often recommend patients lose weight before considering knee or hip replacement surgery to reduce the risk of complications. People carrying excess weight are at higher risk of complications and are less likely to experience pain relief from the surgery.
There are also studies showing that obese patients are more likely to suffer from infections and dislocations. The group is also less likely to experience good results from the surgery.
What new studies are suggesting
There’s hope for obese people suffering from arthritic hips and knees. Researchers from UMass Medical School found out that obese patients who underwent knee or hip replacement surgery experience almost the same pain relief and improvement in function as patients with normal weight.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, revealed that while obesity is still associated with higher risks of complications, it shouldn’t be a deterrent in undergoing joint replacement surgery.
The researchers recognize that there are patients who can’t lose that weight easily or if they can, their joint condition may get worse by that point.
There are still risks involved in undergoing surgery with excessive weight. This is why it’s important to talk with your provider and discuss the pros and cons of doing it and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
Ozark Orthopaedics has specialists who have years of experience in diagnosing and treating conditions involving the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. To request an appointment, you may call us at 479-521-2752