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Most patients gain weight after getting a new knee, UD study finds
Date:1/29/2010

hat it's critical that people not wait too long to have a knee replaced because their functional level going into surgery typically dictates their functional level after surgery.

Gaining weight after one knee replacement is worrisome because it could jeopardize the patient's other knee. Between 35-50 percent will have surgery on the other side within 10 years, Snyder-Mackler says.

The researchers note that weight gain after a knee replacement needs to be treated as a separate concern and integrated into post-operative care through a combination of approaches, including nutritional counseling to help patients with portion control, and more emphasis on retraining patients with new knees to walk normally.

"For physical therapists and surgeons, the common thinking is that after a patient's knee has been replaced, that patient will be more active," says Snyder-Mackler. "But the practices and habits these patients developed to get around in the years prior to surgery are hard to break, and often they don't take advantage of the functional gain once they get a new knee," she notes.

"We need to re-train patients with new knees to walk more normally and more systematically. And we need to encourage more community participation," Snyder-Mackler adds. "If you're not getting out of the house, you won't gain the benefit. We need people with new knees to get out there -- with the help of their family, their friends, and the community at large."


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Contact: Tracey Bryant
tbryant@udel.edu
302-831-8185
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

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