obesity and complication in knee replacement

Obesity & Complications In Total Knee Replacement Surgery

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | September 26th, 2017

What is Obesity?

Obesity is almost a pandemic in the current health scenario and it has been often established that it leads to a great number of lifestyle disorders including diabetes, hypertension, coronary problems and more.

Morbidly obese people face more complications in their daily movements and have been known to undergo Total Knee Replacement surgery at younger ages than those with a lower BMI.

In recent researches (meta analysis, October ’17 issue, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery) it has been established that obese patients who go through Total Knee Replacement surgery are almost twice as likely to incur infection post surgery and more than 2 times likely to incur deep infection.

The obese patients undergoing this procedure are a little more likely to later need a second surgery when compared to those that aren’t obese.  Apart from the risk of infection, other complications post a Total Knee Replacement surgery that may arise from obesity include delayed & poor wound healing, problems in breathing, formation of blood clots, and even pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).

The intent of Total Knee Replacement Surgery is help relieve the pain and enable you to live a fuller, more active life.

In case of obese patients however, the probability of achieving maximum mobility and range of motion is particularly low when compared to a patient with normal weight.

Obesity is also a deterring factor in recovery from the surgery which involves controlled movement, and other physiotherapeutic exercises. The sheer weight that befalls the implant may also lead to its loosening and finally failure of the component altogether or a dislocation in the replaced joint. In some of these cases there might be a need for a revision surgery where the failed implants may need to be replaced with new ones.

obesity in knee replacement

Though obesity may be the reason that you need a total knee replacement, but in order for the surgery to bear you desirable results for longer duration of time, it is important that you check your body weight and get it to a healthy BMI.

It is important to take control and onus of your life and make some basic changes. The first being keeping a check on your caloric intake and the second is increasing your physical activity and workout. While it is tempting to think that you will work on reducing your weight after the surgery when there is lesser pain, but there very few who are able to do so post the surgery.

It is a good idea to consult your doctor and work with his help on reducing your weight to achieve the ideal body weight or BMI before going for the procedure. A healthier person on the operating table has higher chances of a clean surgery, and a quicker recovery with results that last longer.

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