Much is said about Total Knee Replacement. While many agree that it is a perfectly safe procedure, there are those who say that the surgery can be risky. One of the most common factors that increase the risk for knee replacement is obesity. There is a circulating belief that people who are obese are not fit to undergo TKR. There is higher risk for complications for patients who are obese, they say. How true is this and if so, what are the possible serious complications? Let us find out.
Let us take a closer look into this study conducted by Mayo Clinic which was published in 2016. The study seeks to the address the following question: Is Total Knee Replacement a more risky procedure in patients with high body mass index (BMI)? Luckily, this was answered in the same study.
The study used and reviewed the data of 22,000 patients who underwent Total Knee Replacement. The average BMI of the patients is 31. Out of the 22,000 patients included in the study, 5,500 have a BMI above 35. Based on the results of the study, there was an increased rate of repeat knee surgery (including revision total knee replacement surgery) as well a striking increase of knee joint infection, a serious complications in the morbidly obese group (BMI 35-40).
Complications arose following the Total Knee Replacement among the patients belonging to this group. This answers the question as to the complications that obese patients might encounter after undergoing TKR.
However, in the same study, it has been noted that the risk for complication can be minimized by delaying surgery until obesity and other modifiable risk factors are reversed. While obese patients are at risk for complications when undergoing the procedure, the case is not totally hopeless. In fact, the case can be remedied and these patients can still continue with their treatment with less risk. The risks can be minimized through best practices. This calls for experienced and reliable professionals. If the surgeons employ best practices and proven strategies, they can maximize patient outcomes and surgical success, as well as minimize risk for serious complications among obese patients. In other words, the key to lowering or totally eliminating the risk for such patients during and following TKR is to have the procedure conducted only by trusted and proven professionals.
So if you are obese and you have knee problems, don’t consider yourself as a hopeless cause. You can still have your knee issue fixed without having to worry about serious complications following the knee replacement. As already said, it’s just a matter of employing best practices With the right preparation and right measures before, during a and after the procedure, you will have a successful TKR operation. To reiterate, the key to a successful surgery is a reliable, trustworthy and experienced surgeon.
If you are obese and are having doubts whether to continue with the procedure or not, give us a call. You do not have to look further to find the right surgeon who can ensure a successful, risk-free procedure. We know exactly what needs to be done and what’s appropriate for you and your condition. Our surgeon has the right experience, expertise, knowledge, practices and passion for this kind of procedure to work. Make an appointment with us today for a consultation.