The Impact of Obesity on Knee Replacement Surgery

Obesity is the root cause of many complications. Knee pain is one of them. Excess weight exerts additional stress on joints, particularly knees, resulting in pain and arthritis. Studies suggest an extra 30 to 40 pounds of pressure on the knees per ten pounds of excess weight! Obese people may not always feel discomfort. Hence, doctors suggesting they lose weight might surprise them. But people with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 and above are vulnerable to complications during and after surgery.

Accordingly, if you plan to undergo knee replacement surgery, you should know specific preoperative considerations and postoperative outcomes. Of course, this is a generic discussion. The considerations and results would vary with the case involved.

Obesity Preoperative Considerations for Knee Replacement Surgery

Doctors recommend obese people lose weight. It is to ensure a seamless post-surgical recovery. But in addition, it can also create healthy habits to prevent weight gain after surgery. Losing a minimum of 20 pounds helps morbidly obese people shorten their hospital stay and go home instead of being transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

Recovering at home is usually more beneficial for patients. It reduces the chances of post-surgical infection and hospital readmission, allowing them to eat food per their preferences, stay with their family, and get better sleep.

All these factors, individually and collectively, contribute to a quicker and better recovery. Let alone the money that a shortened hospital helps people save.

But it should be noted that it isn’t losing a significant amount of weight that necessarily benefits. Patients can chase smaller goals and yet benefit from weight loss.

Postoperative Outcomes for Knee Replacement Surgery

Here are some of the knee replacement post-surgical outcomes for obese people.

  • Obese people scheduled for outpatient surgery will likely stay at the hospital overnight to receive additional care and stay under observation.
  • The stay will likely remain longer than the non-obese counterparts.
  • Patients are likely to be sent to a rehabilitation facility based on their condition.
  • Obese people are likely to return to the hospital for an emergency visit or seek readmission to the hospital.
  • Additionally, obese people will be prescribed unique medications.

Potential Complications

Complications may differ from person to person. Some common ones include infection and wound healing problems. Often, obese people are found to have more than one disease in their bodies. It could consist of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, etc. These conditions increase surgical risk and can contribute to postoperative complications.

At Ranka Hospital, we are a team of doctors with years of experience treating, diagnosing, and performing knee replacement surgeries for patients with various complexities. So, don’t wonder whether you can go for total knee replacement surgery, given that you are obese. Visit us, one of the best orthopedic hospital in Pune and know the possibilities. We’d be happy to help. Call us at +91 20 2426 1600 to book an appointment.

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