Obese people may not need to lose weight before total joint replacement says new research

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obese, weight, diet, joint replacement, hip op, knee op, arthritis magazineLong-term relief from joint replacement surgery is similar in people with and without obesity, says research in The Journal of Bone And Joint Surgery, a finding that questions the view that the overweight should shift the pounds before joint replacement operations.

The new study, based on data from around 5,000 people, found that obese people who underwent knee or hip replacement surgery reported almost the same pain relief and improved function as normal-weight joint replacement patients six months after surgery. However, obesity was still associated with a greater risk of early complications.

“Our data shows it’s not necessary to ask patients to lose weight prior to surgery,” says Dr Wenjun Li who led the work. “It’s challenging for a patient who is severely overweight and suffering in pain to exercise – often they just can’t do it. Our evidence showed that severe morbidly obese patients can benefit almost equally as normal weight patients in pain relief and gains in physical function.”

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