Effect of non-surgical, non-pharmacological weight loss interventions in patients who are obese prior to hip and knee arthroplasty surgery: a rapid review

Michelle Lui, C Allyson Jones, Marie D Westby
Systematic Reviews 2015 September 27, 4: 121

BACKGROUND: Of the more than 104,000 Canadians who underwent elective total joint arthroplasty (TJA) surgery in 2012-2013 for hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA), 40 and 60 %, respectively, were obese. Obesity is associated with increased risks for receiving TJA, post-operative complications and delayed functional recovery. Current guidelines for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m(2) are to participate in a weight management programme and to lose weight prior to TJA surgery. As part of a larger project, a rapid review was conducted to examine the effects of short-term non-pharmacological and non-surgical weight loss interventions in adults in the year prior to total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) on surgical and patient outcomes, and adverse events.

METHODS: We performed a rapid review and searched seven electronic databases for English language articles published between 1990 and February 2015. Observational studies evaluating the association between pre-operative weight loss and short- and long-term outcomes, and controlled trials of non-pharmacological and non-surgical weight loss interventions were considered for inclusion. Two reviewers independently screened and selected articles, assessed methodological quality and extracted data.

RESULTS: Of 263 articles identified, a total of four studies met our inclusion criteria. In one of two high-quality retrospective cohort studies, weight loss ≥5 % of body weight in the year prior to TJA and maintained in the year after surgery was associated with a higher likelihood of deep surgical site infection in THA patients and 90-day readmission in TKA patients. No significant differences were reported in incidence of superficial surgical site infections in THA or TKA patients who lost weight pre-operatively compared to those who maintained their weight in either study. Two abstracts of randomized controlled trials were included; however, despite contacting the authors, full-length articles were not available. The limited information from the trials suggested that short-term dietician-supervised weight loss interventions were effective in weight loss prior to TJA.

CONCLUSIONS: There is limited evidence to support the recommendation of weight loss in the year prior to TJA and to determine the effectiveness of short-term non-pharmacological, non-surgical weight management interventions on patient and surgical outcomes.

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