The Weight Loss and Surgery Connection

weight loss

For many patients contemplating total joint surgery this year, it’s becoming increasingly important to address any weight-related issues beforehand. Listen to ORA Orthopedics Total Joint Surgeon, Dr. Joe Martin, who explains how your Body Mass Index (BMI) plays a role in when surgery is performed, the complications it can help prevent, and how weight loss improves recovery and implant longevity with less weight on the new joint.

Dr. Joseph Martin, ORA Orthopedics
Dr. Joseph Martin, ORA Orthopedics

Resolving to lose weight can help your hips and knees. “The rates of arthritis are increasing with Baby Boomers who are reaching their 60’s while the obesity epidemic is accelerating, resulting in more problems than just arthritis in knees,” says Dr. Joe Martin, ORA Orthopedics Total Joint Surgeon.

At ORA, patients who are at optimal health and reasonable weight have better surgical outcomes and fewer complications. “When you talk about surgery, obesity is a risk factor for complications. The risks of heart disease or blood clots can go up. We also worry about wound healing, or risk for infections for obese patients,” he says. 

Hip or knee patients with higher than recommended BMIs (Body Mass Index) need special consideration before surgery.  “While we don’t have a cutoff for BMI, we do counsel patients that obesity is a factor that must be addressed before surgery. It’s much safer to lose weight, and many patients do so beforehand.  For those who struggle, we suggest exercise, activity modifications, pool or low-impact activities, or weight loss programs to help.  The end result is fewer complications from surgery and a quicker recovery after surgery.” 

“While total joint replacement has been performed for decades, we are making many strides in surgical techniques to minimize incisions. Technology has created longer lasting implants, as well as advances in pain control and reduced blood loss. These have all contributed to a quicker return to life for our total joint patients.”

Meet these Quad City ORA patients who lost weight prior to surgery and are healthier post-surgery:

For more information on outpatient hip or knee surgery or to watch a video on possibilities of outpatient total joint procedures at Crow Valley Surgery Center, visit ORA’s Hip and Knee Center of Excellence.