The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 4, 749 - 753

Body Mass Index More Than 45 kg/m2 as a Cutoff Point Is Associated With Dramatically Increased Postoperative Complications in Total Knee Arthroplasty and Total Hip Arthroplasty

Adhikary, Sanjib D. et al.
Hip Knee


Higher body mass index (BMI) has been associated with postoperative complications in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA). However, the association of incremental increases of BMI and its effects on postoperative complications has not been well studied. We hypothesize that there is a BMI cutoff at which there is a significant increase of the risk of postoperative complications.


We studied the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program from 2006 to 2013. The final cohort included 77,785 primary TKA and 49,475 primary THA subjects, respectively. Patients were separated into 7 groups based on BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/m2, 25.0-29.9 kg/m2, 30.0-34.9 kg/m2, 35.0-39.9 kg/m2, 40.0-44.9 kg/m2, 45.0-49.9 kg/m2, and >50.0 kg/m2). We analyzed data on five 30-day composite complication variables, including any complication, major complication, wound infection, systemic infection, and cardiac and/or pulmonary complication.


The odds ratio for 4 (any complication, major complication, wound infection, and systemic infection) of 5 composite complications started to increase exponentially once BMI reached 45.0 kg/m2 or higher in TKA. Similarly, the odds ratio in 3 (any complication, systemic infection, and wound infection) of 5 composite complications showed similar trends in THA patients. These findings were further confirmed with propensity score matching and entropy balancing.


Our study suggested that there was a positive correlation between BMI and incidences of 30-day postoperative complications in both TKA and THA. The odds of complications increased dramatically once BMI reached 45.0 kg/m2.

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