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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011 Mar;93(3):321-5. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.93B3.25876.

Does morbid obesity affect the outcome of total hip replacement?: an analysis of 3290 THRs.

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London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5A5.


We evaluated the outcome of primary total hip replacement (THR) in 3290 patients with the primary diagnosis of osteoarthritis at a minimum follow-up of two years. They were stratified into categories of body mass index (BMI) based on the World Health Organisation classification of obesity. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine if there was a difference in the post-operative Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index, the Harris hip score and the Short-Form-12 outcome based on the BMI. While the pre- and post-operative scores were lower for the group classified as morbidly obese, the overall change in outcome scores suggested an equal if not greater improvement compared with the non-morbidly obese patients. The overall survivorship and rate of complications were similar in the BMI groups although there was a slightly higher rate of revision for sepsis in the morbidly obese group. Morbid obesity does not affect the post-operative outcome after THR, with the possible exception of a marginally increased rate of infection. Therefore withholding surgery based on the BMI is not justified.

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