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Knee Replacement Surgery Leads to Possible Weight Gain

Update Date: Jan 15, 2013 08:13 AM EST

In a recent study, scientists found that patients who underwent knee replacement surgery had a higher risk of gaining weight compared to others who did not. This conclusion was based on a study mainly contributed by Danielle Riddle, Ph.D., professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Allied Health Professions, along with his colleagues.

A knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is an operation where the part of the knee which bears the body weight is replaced in order to reduce pain and disability. The surgery is mainly done in the case of people suffering from osteoarthritis but is also performed on patients with other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

In the study, data of approximately 1,000 patients were taken from Mayo Clinic Health System. All of them had undergone knee replacement surgery. It was found that 30 percent of the patient's weight had increased by at least a minimum of 5 percent within the first five years of surgery.

It was also found that only 20 percent of the individuals who did not undergo the surgery suffered an equal amount of weight gain during the same time.

"Part of the explanation is that people may have spent years adapting to their circumstances by avoiding activities that could cause knee pain. We need to encourage patients to take advantage of their ability to function better and offer strategies for weight loss or weight management," Riddle was quoted in Medical Express.

If an obese or overweight patient has to go for a knee replacement surgery, the doctor recommends a weight loss prior to the surgery to make sure the post-surgery recovery is smooth and fast, since weight reduction also reduces the chances of complications.

"The subsequent weight gain potentially puts patients at risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes," Riddle added.

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