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Joint replacements 'more likely to fail in obese patients'

Joint replacements 'more likely to fail in obese patients'
17th February 2011

Overweight individuals could be more likely to require assisted living care following a joint replacement, one expert has indicated.

Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said that half of people who are obese do not recover as well following joint replacement surgery as those who are not overweight.

Additionally, joint replacements were found to be ten times more likely to fail after seven years if the recipient was obese, in comparison with rates in those of a healthy weight.

"For that reason many surgeons advise their overweight and obese people not to have joint replacement surgery until they have lost weight," explained Mr Silman.

These comments follow research by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital that revealed that in the US alone, 86 million healthy years of life will be lost due to obesity coupled with knee osteoarthritis.

According to Elena Losina, lead researcher, 269,934 knee replacements could be avoided if obesity levels were reduced to those seen in 2000.

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