Obesity reduces the life expectancy of joint replacement components

21 February 2011

Being overweight can dramatically reduce the life expectancy of joint replacements - particularly weight bearing devices like hip and knee replacement components.

According to Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said that increased wear and tear is commonplace in clinically obese patients who have elected for joint replacement surgery.

"Joint replacements in obese people [are] ten times more likely to fail after seven years, compared to replacement rates in people of healthy weight," Professor Silman noted.

He added: "We know from research that almost half of people who are obese don't do as well after joint replacement surgery, in comparison with only ten per cent of people who aren't overweight or obese."

His comments come after research presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which showed that obesity can cause permanent knee damage.

1 Sridhar, Michael et al. "Does Obesity Cause Irreparable Damage To Knees Despite Weight Loss?". 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.

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