Denver Orthopedic Surgeons: Lose Weight Before Undergoing Knee Surgery

Obesity could take its toll on the joints, particularly the knees. All that excess weight your lower body has to bear will quickly degrade critical joints and, eventually, require you to undergo orthopedic surgery. This has been the case for the past several months with knee surgery having outpaced hip surgery among people with a body mass index of 25 and above.

Many orthopedic surgeons, though, are concerned about the success rate of the surgery on the weight-challenged. They would recommend losing some pounds before fixing the patients’ knees. According to the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, losing 15 pounds can reduce knee pain by half. This can be achieved by walking three times a day for ten minutes and accruing at least 10,000 steps (use a pedometer for this).

Surprisingly, orthopedic surgeons are looking at another—and faster—way to lose weight by a great deal. Two recent studies, presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in Las Vegas, discovered that weight loss surgery produced better results after knee surgery than no weight loss surgery.

The orthopedic community generally expressed confidence in the results, stating that it could be the start of reevaluating weight loss surgery as a covered procedure. However, it must be noted that weight loss surgery is only reserved for the worst cases of obesity, typically those with a body mass index of 35 and above.

The rationale behind this is understandable. As long as the excess weight remains, any effort in restoring functionality to joints like the knee would be neutralized. It will be subjected to the same burden as the knee before knee surgery. People should make an effort to lose pounds for anything the Denver orthopedic surgeon does to be effective.

Whether or not the clinically obese will qualify for orthopedic surgery depends on a number of factors such as health history. Reputable Denver orthopedic surgeons, such as those from Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, don’t want to add more burden to their patients, especially if the chances of a successful knee surgery are slim, which is why a review is necessary.

It’s not too late to reach for better health. Do your part so that your lifesaver can do his.

“Better joint replacement outcomes for obese patients who have weight-loss surgery,” Medical News Today, March 28, 2015
“Knee Replacements, Obesity and Weight Loss,” US News, April 15, 2015