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    The Impact of Weight on Bone, Joint, and Surgical Recovery

     Obesity frequently contributes to soft tissue damage and osteoarthritis—a progressive wear-and-tear 
    disease of the joints. The impact of obesity is especially felt in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee joints.
    Every pound of body weight places four to six pounds of pressure on each knee joint. Individuals with 
    obesity are 20 times more likely to need a knee replacement than those who are not overweight. From 
    2002 to 2009, the number of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures performed on patients with 
    obesity doubled.
    The detrimental effects of obesity on surgical outcome results and complication rates are well-
    documented in medical literature. These effects include higher rates of infection and prosthesis 
    failure/loosening of the implant when compared to patients of normal weight.
    In addition to contributing to arthritis and other musculoskeletal health issues, obesity also is linked to 
    diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, liver disease, pancreatitis, certain tumors and cancers, and 
    psychiatric disorders. Pre- and postoperative complications may include wound healing, infections, blood clots, blood loss, and dislocation of the replacement joint, especially in the hip.
    Dr. Lajam and her team will work with you to manage your weight, which can help manage the pain and symptoms of arthritis.  Before surgery, we will work with you to reduce your weight in order to reduce the chance for complication.
    Many people with obesity are actually malnourished, which can make healing and recovery from surgery more difficult.  Ask Dr. Lajam to refer you to meet with a nutritionist to help optimize nutrition before surgery.
    It can be very frustrating to live with the pain from arthritis while trying to become more active in order to reduce weight.  Dr. Lajam recommends water or pool exercises to help regain some fitness and strength while minimizing painful impact on arthritic joints.  Simply walking laps in waist-high water twice per week can dramatically improve fitness and muscle tone.  Patients who exercise before surgery recovery faster than those who are inactive.