BODY WEIGHT AND ORTHOPEDIC HEALTH
We are very sensitive when talking about high body weight in today’s culture, in order that we strike a balance between educating our patients and sounding overly critical. In our orthopedic practice, we take time to ensure that everyone, no matter their gender, age, or physical abilities, is aware of the risk that carrying too much weight can have on both their orthopedic health (joints for example,) as well as their general health (such as diabetes and heart disease).
High body weight means increased risk for musculoskeletal injury
One of the most troubling connections between high body weight and orthopedic health is the dramatically-increased risk of musculoskeletal injury in Las Vegas, NV. The higher your BMI, the more likely you are to suffer an injury while moving around. In fact, obese people are up to 48 percent more likely to suffer some kind of stress injury.
Chronic pain due to high body weight
Perhaps the most commonly reported problem associated with obesity is consistent pain at the joints. When you’re continually putting too much pressure on your knees, for example, the prolonged stress can result in increased wear and tear, the practical result of which is feelings of pain and discomfort.
Perhaps even more troubling, this pain can develop into a condition known as osteoarthritis. Sufferers of osteoarthritis endure increased friction in their joints due to the protective cartilage wearing away from too much stress. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can go some way toward preventing these issues.
Obesity and injury
In addition to the increased likelihood of wear and tear on joints, excess weight can also affect injury potential. The odds of sustaining musculoskeletal injuries are thought to be 15% higher for persons who are overweight and 48% higher for people who are obese, compared to persons of normal weight.1
As healthcare professionals we recognize how important it is for everyone, both men and women, to be comfortable in their own skin, and be confident in who they are as a person and what their body looks like. In this context, being comfortable with yourself means helping people understand that their bodies will not always look like photographic models or even other average individuals. We are all built differently and we respond differently to caloric intake, exercise, and lifestyles. For example, some (lucky) people were born with really efficient metabolisms – many of us are not, however. An important step in healthy confidence is to understand that although we may never be as thin as some, we can be very comfortable in our own skin. Medically speaking, though, being comfortable in your own skin is not validating obesity.
The definition of obesity has been quite specific traditionally: it was defined as weight at least 20% above the weight correlating to the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age (the ideal weight).
A further breakdown of definitions looked like this:
Mildly obese: 20-40% over the ideal weight
Moderately obese: 40-99% over the ideal weight
Severely/Morbidly obese: 100% + over ideal weight
More recent guidelines for obesity use a measurement called BMI (Body Mass Index).
BMI health guidelines are:
BMI of 25.9- 29 is considered overweight
BMI over 30 is considered obese
Another method of establishing healthy body size guidelines is the measurement and comparisons of waist and hip circumferences. Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the greater the chance for weight-associated health problems.
Lastly, specialized scales are now available that measure one’s percentage of body fat. While ideal body fat percentages vary with age, under 25% for men and under 30% for women are considered average.
Obesity and orthopedic surgery outcomes
Obesity can accompany a multitude of comorbidities that can have a significant impact on a patient’s outcome from elective orthopedic surgery.
Although no strict upper weight limits have been established that would contra-indicate elective orthopedic surgery, all our surgeons understand the unique risks an obese patient faces and understand how to optimize and treat each of these patients on an individual basis.
It is recommended that patients with morbid obesity (BMI of 40 or higher) be:
- Advised to lose weight before total joint arthroplasty (TJA)
- Offered resources for weight loss before surgery
Counseled about the possible complications and inferior results that may occur if they do not lose weight.
Not just for pre-surgical patients
In addition to enhanced orthopedic surgery outcomes, losing weight can favorably impact other musculoskeletal issues.
Please let us know if you have any questions and do leave a comment
Contact us for more details:
59 A, MNR Complex,
Near Steel Factory Bus Stop,
DoddaBanaswadi Main Road,
Bengaluru-560043 Phone: 080-4370 1281 Mobile: 9591618833