Many patients end up getting joint replacement surgery because they have a difficult time exercising and maintaining their ideal body weight. The hope is that by alleviating joint pain, they will be able to exercise, and ultimately be able to lose weight. In fact, many doctors make this point to their patients when trying to encourage them to have joint replacement.
But it turns out, the opposite may be true. Many studies have looked into this, and a recent research study found that patients were more likely to gain weight after knee replacement surgery.
The study found that patients who had knee replacement 5 years previously were more likely to have a significant weight gain than a significant weight loss. Specifically, more than 30% of patients had a least a 5% gain in body weight, while less than 20% of patients had a 5% loss of body weight.
Certainly, this is just one look at a diverse group of patients. Perhaps there are subsets of patients who may experience weight loss when they have joint replacement. Determining the right time to proceed with joint replacement can be a difficult task, and is worthwhile to discuss with your doctor.
Source: "Knee replacement linked to weight gain"