The risk of surgical site infection and readmission in obese patients undergoing total joint replacement who lose weight before surgery and keep it off post-operatively

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Abstract

This study evaluated whether obese patients who lost weight before their total joint replacement and kept it off post-operatively were at lower risk of surgical site infection (SSI) and re-admission compared with those who remained the same weight.

We reviewed 444 patients who underwent a total hip replacement and 937 with a total knee replacement who lost weight pre-operatively and sustained their weight loss after surgery. After adjustments, patients who lost weight before a total hip replacement and kept it off post-operatively had a 3.77 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.59 to 8.95) greater likelihood of deep SSIs and those who lost weight before a total knee replacement had a 1.63 (95% CI 1.16 to 2.28) greater likelihood of re-admission compared with the reference group.

These findings raise questions about the safety of weight management before total replacement of the hip and knee joints.

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