Should isolated morbid obesity influence the decision to operate in hip and knee arthroplasty?

Type Article

Journal Article


P. F. Crookes; R. S. Cassidy; A. Machowicz; J. C. Hill; J. McCaffrey; G. Turner; D. Beverland

Year of publication



Bone Jt Open








AIMS: We studied the outcomes of hip and knee arthroplasties in a high-volume arthroplasty centre to determine if patients with morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m(2)) had unacceptably worse outcomes as compared to those with BMI three days, out of hours attendance, emergency department attendance, readmission to hospital, return to theatre, and venous thromboembolism up to 90 days. Readmission for wound infection was recorded to one year. Oxford scores were recorded preoperatively and at one year postoperatively. RESULTS: On average, the morbidly obese had longer operating times (63 vs 58 minutes), longer anaesthetic times (31 vs 28 minutes), increased LOS (3.7 vs 3.5 days), and significantly more readmissions for wound infection (1.0% vs 0.3%). There were no statistically significant differences in either suspected or confirmed venous thromboembolism. Improvement in Oxford scores were equivalent. CONCLUSION: Although morbidly obese patients had less favourable outcomes, we do not feel that the magnitude of difference is clinically significant when applied to an individual, particularly when improvement in Oxford scores were unrelated to BMI. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2021;2(7):515-521.