The risk of complications after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, including postsurgical infections, is greater in patients who are obese than in those who are not, according to a literature review that appeared in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). The findings include the following:
+ The rate of infection after TKR surgery in obese patients is twice the rate in nonobese patients.
+ The rate of infection in obese patients is higher for both superficial and deep infections.
+ The long-term surgical revision rate for obese patients is nearly double that for nonobese patients.
Because orthopedic procedures may be more technically difficult in obese patients, knowing whether the complication rate is higher and long-term outcomes are worse in these patients is important, the authors noted. They advised that rather than withhold TKR surgery from obese patients clinicians discuss with them the likelihood of complications after surgery and the benefits of losing weight before surgery.