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Bol Asoc Med P R. 2011 Apr-Jun;103(2):17-20.

Correlation between body mass index and need for total knee replacement in a group of Latin patients with knee osteoarthritis.

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Transitional Residency Program, Hospital Damas, Ponce, Puerto Rico.


Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee has been linked to obesity. Clinical observations suggested that there is a direct relationship between the degree of obesity and the severity of knee OA in the Latin community. This study associates the risk of requiring total knee replacement (TKR) attributable to being obese on a subset of Latin patients.


112 Latin patients ages 21 to 89 years were evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon and enrolled in a pilot case-control study. The charts of these patients were reviewed and sociodemographic data, body mass index (BMI), and initial management, whether it was medical or TKR were reviewed. Patients were segregated according to their BMI in different categories: normal, overweight, obesity class I, obesity class II, and obesity class III. Severity of OA was then compared between the patients in the different BMI classifications. Analyses were further adjusted for age, sex and hometown.


100 subjects were successfully included into the study. Of the non-obese patients, neither underweight nor normal weight patients were managed with TKR, and only 9% of overweight patients were managed with TKR. Overall, 48% of the obese patients were managed with TKR. This included 43% of the obese class 1, 58% of the obese class I, and 33% of the obese class III patients.


There seems to be a direct relationship between obesity and risk of TKR in the Latin community.

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