Why Should Overweight Patients Lose Weight Before Hip Replacement Surgery?

27 October 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


For some people the need for hip replacement surgery can come out of the blue; for example, being involved in an accident that damages the hip bone will necessitate immediate surgical intervention. However, many patients have time to prepare for their hip replacement surgery, and one of the best things you can do during that time is make sure you are at a healthy weight.

Here are just a few reasons why you should try your best to shift any excess weight before your hip replacement surgery.

Surgical Difficulties

Surgery is much easier to perform on somebody that is at a healthy weight. One of the most important concerns is anaesthesia, which can be harder to correctly administer when dealing with an overweight person. Locating veins is tougher, as is ensuring a healthy flow of oxygen to the lungs.

Additionally, it's harder for surgeons to perform on a person who is carrying more than a little bit of excess weight. This makes operating times longer, and you want your own operating time to be as quick as possible in order to reduce the risk of experiencing complications.

Post-Surgical Difficulties

Once your operation is completed, your body will need to begin repairing itself. Unfortunately, being overweight makes it more likely for infections to occur, and the wound may take longer to heal. You will also be more at risk of blood clots if you are overweight.

These issues can all be serious in their own right, but they'll also prevent you from moving on to physiotherapy as quickly as possible. Your muscles will become weaker the longer you are recovering in bed, making the physiotherapy process tougher than it needs to be.

Mobility Difficulties

Finally, being overweight makes it less likely that the muscles surrounding your hip will be in good shape. These muscles will undergo increased strain during the recovery process as you start moving around again. Ideally, they should enjoy a good range of motion, be relatively strong, and show acceptable flexibility. Of course, carrying excess weight also places more weight on your new hip joint, increasing pain while you're walking.

If you're overweight and are planning on having hip replacement surgery soon, you can help yourself out by losing some weight and improving your muscle tone. Strenuous, high-impact exercises should be avoided, but activities such as swimming and biking can be beneficial. If in doubt, talk to your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon.