Orthopedic surgery can benefit obese patients

21 October 2014

Obesity has a large impact on many aspects of a person's health, as well as the healthcare system itself. People who are substantially overweight often have a number of other problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, certain tumours and cancers, and psychiatric disorders. 

However, a leading expert has now said obesity can have a severe impact on orthopaedic conditions.

According to orthopaedic surgeon Dr William M. Mihalko, of Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics in Memphis, obesity "can accompany a multitude of comorbidities that can have a significant impact on a patient's outcome from elective orthopaedic surgery".

His study - Obesity, Orthopaedics, and Outcomes - published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), suggests that orthopaedic procedures can help minimise pain and improve bone and joint function, even though obese patients are often at a higher risk of developing surgical complications.

Adults who are significantly overweight are more likely to suffer musculoskeletal pain than their healthy-weight peers. They also commonly suffer with osteoarthritis (OA), which progressively erodes the joints, with each pound of extra weight putting more pressure on the joints.

The study suggests that orthopaedic interventions can provide improvements in quality of life for even super-obese patients.

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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