The epidemic of obesity continues to plague the American public. According to recent studies and projections by 2050 the entire US populace will be overweight or obese. Numerous studies in the field of orthopaedic surgery have found that patients who are obese prior to undergoing a total knee replacement continue to gain weight after surgery. Studies indicate that obese patients put on an additional 5% of their total body weight within 12 months of having a total knee replacement.
While there is ample research on the weight gain that occurs when a person with obesity has a knee replacement, there has been little research on the effects of weight loss after the procedure. Specifically, Dr. Amanatullah sought to determine how weight loss after knee replacement surgery could postpone the need for revision surgeries. The team of researchers conducted a retrospective study on 160 revision knee replacements that took place between 2005 and 2014.
The team found that weight loss after the primary total knee replacement procedure is associated with a lower risk of early revision surgery. Similarly, patients who gained weight or stayed at the same weight had to undergo revision surgery for aseptic loosening much sooner than those that lost weight. As such, it is important to impress upon patients that they should continue to eat healthfully and live an active lifestyle in order to stave off the need for revision surgery earlier than anticipated.