The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 1, 252 - 255

Elevated Body Mass Index Is Associated With Early Total Knee Revision for Infection

Electricwala, Ali J. et al.
Knee

Background

Obesity affects over half a billion people worldwide, including one-third of men and women in the United States. Obesity is associated with higher postoperative complication rates after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). It remains unknown whether obese patients progress to revision TKA faster than nonobese patients.

Methods

A total of 666 consecutive primary TKAs referred to an academic tertiary care center for revision TKA were retrospectively stratified according to body mass index (BMI), reason for revision TKA, and time from primary to revision TKA.

Results

When examining primary TKAs referred for revision TKA, increasing BMI adversely affected the mean time to revision TKA. The percent of referred TKAs revised by 5 years was 54% for a normal BMI, 64% for an overweight patient, 71% for an obese class I patient, 68% for an obese class II patient, and 73% for a morbidly obese patient. There was a significant difference in time to revision TKA between patients with normal BMI and elevated BMI (P = .005). There was a significant increase in early revision TKA for infection in patients with an elevated BMI (54%, 74/138) when compared with the normal BMI patients (24%, 8/33, P < .003, relative risk ratio = 2.3, absolute risk = 30%, number needed to treat = 3.3). There was no significant increase in acute, early, midterm, or late revision TKA for aseptic loosening and/or osteolysis, instability, stiffness, or other causes between patients with normal BMI and elevated BMI.

Conclusion

An elevated BMI is a risk factor for early referral to a tertiary care center for revision TKA. Specifically, orthopedic surgeons should convey to overweight and obese patients that they have at least a 130% increased relative risk and a 30% absolute risk of revision TKA for an early infection if referred for revision TKA. Patient expectations and counseling as well as reimbursement should account for the greater risks when performing a TKA on patients with an elevated BMI.


Download article