Obesity limits a patient’s range of motion (ROM), prolongs recovery and extends the need for physical therapy after total knee replacement surgery, according to a study presented today by Geoffrey Westrich, MD, of Hospital for Special Surgery at the 75th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The study found that a patient’s body mass index (BMI) had a direct correlation on the knee’s ROM and the need for manipulation under anesthesia. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. While fewer than 10 percent of patients with a BMI of less than 25 required manipulation in physical therapy to achieve greater flexibility and break up scar tissue, almost 20 percent of patients with a BMI of 25-30 required manipulation.
…Other significant findings in the study include:
The greater a patient’s BMI, the less ROM they can expect after knee surgery;
Age was not a predictor for ROM;
Gender is a predictor for ROM and need for manipulation. Regardless of BMI, men had a 4.6 degree higher ROM than women. Less than 10 percent of men needed manipulation six weeks after surgery, compared to 18.5 percent for women.