1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Will joint replacement help me lose weight?


Updated March 09, 2012

knee replacement joint pain

Knee Replacement Surgery

Image © Medical Multimedia Group
Question: Will joint replacement help me lose weight?
Many patients are hopeful that improving their arthritis by having joint replacement surgery will allow them to increase their exercise ability and lose weight. Because of painful joints, many people find it difficult to exercise, and hope that solving their joint pain may also help to solve their weight problem.
Answer: The truth is that joint replacement usually has little effect on the weight of patients after surgery. While joint replacement has been shown to reduce pain levels and improve exercise tolerance, this seldom results in weight loss for the patient.

Several studies have followed large groups of patients after joint replacement surgery. These studies have consistently found that the average patient will be a similar weight after having their joint arthritis addressed. In fact, some studies have shown that patients are more likely to gain weight after joint replacement surgery.

This does not mean that you cannot lose weight after joint replacement, but rather that, on average, most patients will not lose weight simply by having their joint pain addressed with joint replacement surgery.


Woodruff MJ, Stone MH "Comparison of weight changes after total hip or knee arthroplasty" J Arthroplasty. 2001;16:22–4.

Middleton1 FR, Boardman DR "Total Hip Arthroplasty Does not Aid Weight Loss" Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2007 April; 89(3): 288–291.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Hip & Knee
  5. Hip & Knee Replacement
  6. Timing of Surgery
  7. Will Joint Replacement Help Me Lose Weight - Weight Loss and Joint Replacement

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.