Weight gain after knee replacement surgery

Scott R. Greenberg, MDScott R. Greenberg, MD

When examining patients who have thought of getting a knee replacement, two of the main reasons they give in favor of the procedure is that is can reduce pain, and secondly, it can help them be more active and they can maintain an ideal body weight.

Research is suggesting that knee replacement patients actually gain more weight after the surgery. Worse, the younger the patient, the greater the risk for substantial weight gain following the surgery! 1

This new research goes against older research that says the opposite – usually joint replacement patients lost weight.2

In other research, it becomes a little more clear “Total hip or knee replacement patients who are overweight or obese often consider their disabling joint disease a cause for their increased weight”. . . BUT…”Postoperatively, both hip and knee replacement patients gained weight. Younger hip patients gained a significant amount of weight.3

All three studies seemingly confirm the same thing, it is up to the doctor and patient who are predisposed for weight gain, to work together to form a non-weight gaining plain following treatment.

Weight gain after knee replacement surgery

Of course, inactivity may lead to the weight gain following a joint replacement surgery. This is why Prolotherapy is a sought after option. Under a doctor’s care a patient during treatment, may continue normal activity and avoid the problems of inactivity.

1. Riddle DL, Singh JA, Harmsen WS, Schleck CD, Lewallen DG. Clinically important body weight gain following knee arthroplasty: A five-year comparative cohort study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Nov 30. doi: 10.1002/acr.21880. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Stets K, Koehler SM, Bronson W, Chen M, Yang K, Bronson M. Weight and body mass index change after total joint arthroplasty. Orthopedics. 2010 Jun 9;33(6):386. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20100429-13.

3. Heisel C, Silva M, dela Rosa MA, Schmalzried TP. The effects of lower-extremity total joint replacement for arthritis on obesity. Orthopedics. 2005 Feb;28(2):157-9.

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