Improving your Health
If a joint replacement operation has been recommended to you, it is important to start working toward a healthy weight. Not only will losing and maintaining a healthy weight help decrease your surgical risks, it will also help your joint replacement last you for many more years to come.
How Do I Know if I need to Lose Weight?
First, you need to find out if you are at a healthy weight. This is something you should regularly talk with your doctor about. Many doctors will recommend you lose some weight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or more. BMI helps determine if you are at a healthy weight for your height. If you are unsure, you can use the calculator found here, then use the chart below to determine if you need to work toward a healthier weight.
Did you Know?
A new study shows that for each pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress among overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers say the results indicate that even modest weight loss may significantly lighten the load on your joints. Not only that, but carrying extra weight can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, strokes, cancer and depression. Losing even just 10% of your weight can significantly reduce your risk of these diseases.
It is likely your doctor will recommend you lose some weight before your joint replacement operation. This can be done through conservative methods like diet, behavior changes, and physical therapy. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, your doctor may even recommend a more aggressive treatment for weight loss, such as bariatric surgery which is now offered at South Texas Surgical Hospital and Outpatient Center. Losing weight before your joint replacement surgery will reduce your overall risks before, during and after your operation.
Losing weight can be a challenge, especially when you are already experiencing joint pain. It's important to start improving your diet and make behavior changes that will help you be successful in your weight loss efforts. Check out our nutrition library at the top of the page for tips and tools for incorporating a healthier lifestyle!