STUDY: Why knee replacement surgey can lead to weight gain

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It may seem like an obvious conclusion, but people who undergo knee replacement surgery gain more weight than those who do not, according to a five-year VCU study.

The study, led by VCU Department of Physical Therapy professor Dr. Daniel Riddle, found nearly 30 percent of  the 1,000 knee-replacement surgery patients from the Mayo Clinic Health System gained 5 percent or more of their body weight in the five years following surgery.

Only 20 percent of the comparison group, that did not have knee replacement surgery, gained that much weight.

“Part of the explanation is that people may have spent years adapting to their circumstances by avoiding activities that could cause knee pain,” Riddle said in a statement. “We need to encourage patients to take advantage of their ability to function better and offer strategies for weight loss or weight management.”

The study is published online in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.