Obesity: A Key Factor in Knee Replacement ResultsSome studies show that being overweight is linked to a poor result after total knee replacement (TKR). Other studies don't support this finding. This study was done to compare the results of TKR in obese patients with TKRs in patients who were not obese.
Patients were matched by weight, age, and whether they had one or both knees replaced. The researchers couldn't match patients by gender because there were many more obese women compared to men. All patients got the same kind of joint implant. The implant has been successful in use with the general population. Everyone was followed for at least five years.
The researchers looked at patients' pain and activity levels, problems after the operation, and X- ray findings. The authors report a big difference between the two groups. There were more failures in the obese group. A failed TKR means that the patient either had to be operated on again, or had a very poor result in terms of pain and activity.
Of the group who was not obese, 99 percent had a good result. Only 88 percent of the obese group had a positive result. X-ray results were the same between the two groups. The authors conclude that the more obese the person, the greater the chances for a failed TKR. Patients in the obese group reported lower satisfaction levels, too.
Jared R. H. Foran, BA, et al., The Outcome of Total Knee Arthroplasty in Obese Patients. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. August 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 8. Pp. 1609-1615.
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