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Monday 24th October 2016

Obese should not be refused surgery

28th July 2008

UK researchers have said there is no medical reason why obese patients should not be allowed to have knee replacement surgery.


Teams from Southampton, Bristol, Oxford and Keele universities have published their research in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The teams studied 688 patients for six years, during which 325 subjects underwent knee replacement operations.

At the beginning of the study, the researchers interviewed the patients in order to determine how mobile they were and what their mental states were.

They discovered that subjects who had the knee replacement operations had increased their mobility over the six year period. Those subjects who did not have the operation showed decreased mobility.

Obese subjects had improvement in their "sustained mobility".

Professor Cyrus Cooper said: "The long-term improvement in physical function that we observed in patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery is striking" in comparison to those who did not have the surgery.

"These benefits extended to those patients who were clinically obese. Our results show that as long as appropriate selection criteria are applied with regard to fitness for surgery, there seems little justification for withholding the operation from patients who are obese."

An Arthritis Research Campaign spokesman said the research contradicted statistics which showed the more a patient weighed, the less likelihood there was that an operation would help them.


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