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The Importance of Weight Loss // By: Dr. Paul Burton

The well-being and health of our patients is always our primary concern at Arrowhead Orthopaedics. The negative effects on all of us on our health and well-being from carrying increased weight is literally enormous. Besides the increased risk of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke, myocardial infarction and increased death rates, the effect of increased weight on our joints and spine is tremendous. It is thus very important for our overall health and well-being that we strive to keep our body weight at an ideal range. This is not an easy task as evidenced by the tremendous number of weight loss programs and fad diets that are prevalent.

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons have come out with a guideline regarding the ideal patient’s body weight for having hip and knee arthroplasty. Their guideline recommends against any elective total hip or knee replacement in a patient with a BMI over 40. The reasons for this are multiple but the primary being there is very clear increased failure of the implants and a higher infection rate. Infection and failure of the implants is a disaster that we must avoid at all costs. As such, it is no longer safe or prudent, or in the patient’s best interest to perform elective surgeries for hip and knee arthroplasty in patients with a BMI over 40. We prefer the BMI to be 35 or less.

The most effective way to promote weight loss is to follow a reasonable diet lower in carbohydrates and engage in regular exercise. For many patients the exercise is very difficult to follow as they have joint pain and disability, however, water exercise, swimming and even light weights and a stationary bike or elliptical machine are mechanisms that can help with this. We have attached a flier of available healthcare institutions and entities that can help you with weight loss as well as with an exercise program.

Dr. Paul Burton, M.D. specializes in Joint Replacement Surgery

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