How many times have I have this over the years- if you suffer from obesity and knee replacement is your only option you can’t have surgery. If you are too fat then the surgery won’t work for you and so it is not worth doing.
Well this new research has over turned this notion and shown it is simply not true.
The results of this study on obesity and knee replacement was reported by New Medical This is what they say:
Moreover, there was no significant difference in the magnitude of improvement for patients with a morbidly obese BMI of 40-60 kg/m2 and those with a healthy BMI of 15-24.9 kg/m2 for the Oxford Knee Score, the EuroQoL (EQ)-5D index, and the EQ-5D visual analog scale, after adjustment for age, gender, general health and comorbidity, and American Society of Anesthesiologists grade.
“Obese patients gained as much benefit from knee replacement as patients with a ‘normal’ BMI, even if they did not end up at a similar postoperative level,” report Paul Baker (Newcastle University) and co-workers in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
So it made no difference how much people weighed, they got the same level of IMPROVEMENT. Obese people did not reach the same levels of function that their slimmer counterparts did but then they probably started from a lower function level so why should they have the same function post knee replacement?
Obesity and Knee Replacement Risks
The report says
Although patients with obese (BMI=25-29.9 kg/m2) and morbidly obese BMIs had a significantly higher rate of wound complications than those with a healthy BMI (17 and 12 vs 9%), rates of bleeding, readmission, and reoperation did not significantly differ.
Please do not think that I am condoning being obese. I am not! Being obese carries significant health risks.
What I am saying is obese people should not be discriminated against. This is the first time ( to my knowledge) a study has investigated improvement rather than outcome and obese people get the same improvement.
If, however, the surgeon believes your general health is not good enough due to obesity and knee replacement is not an option because of your health problems, then fair enough. But you have no high blood pressure, cardiac or breathing difficulties (all known surgical risks) then you should have the same right to a knee replacement as anyone else.
I know Lesley had this problem. She was told she had
to loose weight before they will take the matter further- a catch 22 situation as if you are not mobile you cannot exercise!