Patients Often Don’t Lose Significant Weight after Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Excess body weight leads to osteoarthritis (4 times the risk in Women & 5 times the risk in Men, Anderson J and Fleson DT. Am.J.Epidemiol. 1988;128:179-189.) and causes cartilage loss in the joints, swelling, pain, and stiffness, limiting the mobility of the patient. It even renders them incapable of exercises that help lose weight.

Knee replacement surgeries are considered helpful in reducing joint pain and improves function, especially in people who find it difficult to sit or move because of bad joints. However, whether or not patients lose weight after Total Knee Replacement (TKR) procedures, has been a matter of conflict for long.

While the impact of weight on knee replacement surgeries is yet to be explored in detail, most orthopedic hospitals, in Dubai, and elsewhere, show reluctance to operate on an overweight or obese patient.

No Remarkable Weight Reduction Post-Operation A study by Pellegrini, Song, and Semanik, (J Clin Rheumatol. 2017 Oct;23(7):355-360) examined weight change patterns for 210 patients of TKR one-two years before and after the procedure. The patients were either overweight or obese. The study also factored in the demographic, knee factors, and general health of the patients.

The study concluded that obese and overweight patients lost some weight in the interval when the surgery was performed. However, in one-two years post the surgery, they were not likely to shed more than 2.5% weight. Another study by Schwartsmann, Borges, and Migon, (Rev Bras Ortop. 2017 Mar-Apr; 52(2): 159–163.) A random study of 91 patients and their medical records, supports the conclusion that patients of TKR do not achieve much BMI reduction after knee replacement surgery.

Experts in orthopedics, Dubai follow up with suggestions about preoperative and postoperative exercises and physical movement to limit complications during and after TKR.


Dr. Manjunatha GS,

Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon

Aster Clinic, Al Muteena


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