Weight Loss Surgery Encouraged Before Knee Replacement for Severely Obese Patients
From Tennova Healthcare
New study shows bariatric surgery before joint replacement may improve quality of life
Being overweight is associated with several health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. But extra weight also raises the risk of getting a certain type of arthritis, known as osteoarthritis. One in five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis, but that number jumps to one in three among obese people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Osteoarthritis has a logical link to obesity,” said Stephen G. Boyce, M.D., medical director of the Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Turkey Creek Medical Center in Knoxville. “The more weight that’s on a joint, the more stressed the joint becomes, and the more likely it will wear down over time.
“For people with severe obesity—which means they are more than 100 pounds over their ideal weight—the extra pounds put added stress on their weight-bearing joints, especially hips and knees. It stands to reason that these individuals are more likely to need joint replacement at some point in their lifetime,” Dr. Boyce said.
A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery shows that patients with severe obesity who have bariatric (weight loss) surgery two years before total knee replacement surgery tend to have fewer complications, reduced costs, and better outcomes.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), obesity places total knee replacement patients at increased risk for complications, including delayed wound healing, infection, the need for revision surgery, and lower functional outcomes. In addition, there are surgical challenges associated with performing joint replacement on a patient with severe obesity.
The researchers analyzed previously published data on obesity, bariatric surgery and total knee replacement to compare the costs and outcomes of joint replacement on an obese patient without any weight loss prior to the knee surgery versus those who had joint replacement surgery two years after bariatric surgery.
The results indicate that weight loss surgery prior to total knee replacement is a cost-effective option for improving outcomes in morbidly obese patients with end-stage knee osteoarthritis.
“Bariatric surgery offers an effective treatment for severe obesity, which allows people to reach their goal weight before they take the next step in improving their quality of life with joint replacement surgery,” Dr. Boyce said.
About Stephen G. Boyce, MD
Dr. Stephen G. Boyce holds a Masters Certification in Bariatric Surgery and is a fellow of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is the founder of the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and the developer of Bari Life® Bariatric Supplements.
Dr. Boyce’s practice was designated as a Center of Excellence® in 2005 by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (formerly known as the American Society for Bariatric Surgery) and is nationally accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). The New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery offers a range of surgical weight loss techniques, including Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Biliary Pancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch, adjustable gastric banding and the new FDA-approved Intra-Gastric Balloon.