People who are overweight or obese tend to need knee replacement surgery at an earlier age and require more time to recover from surgery. Orthopedic surgeons also find that it is more difficult to operate on heavier patients, the incisions need to be larger, and the surgical procedure usually takes longer. Poor positioning of the new knee joint and joint dislocation are more common among overweight and obese patients.
Postsurgical complications are more than twice as likely to occur in obese knee replacement patients. In addition, the rehabilitation process is often more challenging for patients who are carrying excess weight. For all these reasons, it is recommended that overweight or obese individuals who are planning to undergo knee replacement surgery lose weight before the procedure.