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Increasing rate of knee replacements linked to obesity among young, researchers say
Date:10/31/2013

e performed each year at a cost of $9.9 billion, and the demand is expected to grow to 3.48 million procedures a year by 2030.

"Unless we see a significant reduction in obesity, we will continue to see the necessity for more and more of these procedures," Ayers said. "This is an example of the type of information this database will yield that could directly influence clinical best practices, health care policy and the overall health and quality of life for people with arthritis."

Obesity is not only a major predictor of knee replacement surgery, it also puts patients at a post-operative disadvantage compared to healthier patients. For example, regardless of age, those who are obese don't experience the same level of functional gain after joint replacement as other patients. Obese patients are also more likely to get an infection or other complications that require readmission or revision surgery.

These factors drive up costs. Researchers also say that post-operative support programs should target improved physical activity and diet with the overall goal being a healthier lifestyle. Currently there are no standards for physical therapy or health management after joint replacement surgery.

"Figuring out the best practices for rehabilitation and how to lose weight should be a priority," said Patricia Franklin, MD, principal investigator of FORCE-TJR. "There needs to be a wellness incentive. Health insurers have done that around other diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but not joint replacement. We can't just say we fixed the knee or the hip and then walk away."

Franklin will present findings from the FORCE-TJR study at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals in San Diego, Oct. 25-30.


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Contact: Dave Falcone
Dfalcone@denterlein.com
617-482-0042
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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