Obesity May Be Linked To Disability After Joint Surgery: Study

People who undergo joint surgery, such as joint replacements for arthritis, are more likely to become dependent in the years following surgery if they are obese, warns a study

Obesity May Be Linked To Disability After Joint Surgery: Study

Obesity has emerged as one of the top health conditions of the current times. Obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. According to a latest study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, people who undergo joint surgery, such as joint replacements for arthritis, are more likely to become dependent in the years following surgery if they are obese.

The study also notes that further needs to be done to understand the link and asses why this happens and how to prevent it, but the link was too marked to ignore.

There are a lot of studies on mortality, and complications. But there isn't much research on how people actually get back to how they perform at home, noted the researchers.

It is very important for potential joint surgery patients to know that in some circumstances, they may be at higher risk, post the surgery. These circumstances like weight or age, if known in advance may help them give a more enhanced view of what is in store for them. These considerations are important for both the patient and the physician to know beforehand.

For the study, the team studied 2,519 adults over age 61 who had joint surgery for arthritis. About two-thirds of participants had joint replacements. And 45 percent were obese, meaning they had a body mass index (BMI) - a measure of weight relative to height - of 30 or above at the time of their surgery.

Participants were made to answer if they had any mental, emotional or memory problems that affected their activities of daily living, before the surgery and during the two year course following the surgery. These daily activities may include the range of things like getting out of bed, toileting, bathing and eating. If a patient was found to use help in any of these mundane tasks, it was labelled as a dependence disability.

About 22 percent of participants reported new or worsening dependence approximately two years after their surgery - including more than one in four obese patients and one in five non-obese patients.

The results revealed a stark number of obese joint surgery patients who were at 35 percent higher risk of dependence after surgery compared to non-obese patients.

Physicians may need to pay a little more attention to, and maybe counsel, not just obese patients but elderly patients in general too the researchers wrote. With age, the condition gets tough to handle. Elderly may came in for surgery with an expectation of getting better. That might not always be the case.

While , joint surgery is still helpful whether patients are obese or not, but there is a lot to be done post the surgery too. It is much more than replacing the joint. The physicians must ensure that they counsel the patients well and follow up with routine checks. It's also important for patients to become involved in their own health care.

Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta enlists steps you must take if you're overweight

1. Whole grain and not processed cereals provide energy to sustain and grow and are also a major source of all essential nutrients. Stock up on whole grains like Bajra, Ragi, Maize and Jowar, use them often. Try red and black and brown rice instead of white rice .Use these whole grains for breakfast porridges, they taste great.

2. Buy whole dals in addition to the staple washed dals. Fill up your shelves with Rajma, Chana, Soy, Bhatt dals. Add these as sprouts or cook them for your meal at least once every two days. When buying meat, choose the lean, low fat cuts. Add a protein in every major meal. Proteins are essential for the body.

3. Ensure 3 servings of seasonal vegetables per head and 2 of whole fruits per day. They provide both soluble and insoluble fibre in addition to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. We need about 25-30gms of fibre per day, one apple provides only 1gm.

4. Keep the trans fats away. There is a chance that industrial trans fats would be present in fast foods, snack food, fried foods cookies, margarine and spreads). Read the labels, if there is no label, find a better substitute.

5. Keep the intake of sugar to less than 10% of your total calories, for a normal weight woman who needs 1900Kcal/day this is about 10 -11 teaspoons of sugar. Below 5% would be better. Sugar doesn't refer to added refined sugar that you put in your tea/ coffee only. A lot of foods have natural sugar hidden in them too.



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