Improving the care of patients with obesity needing joint replacement - time for a combined ortho-bariatric approach? (2023)

Type of publication:Conference abstract

Author(s):Sinha Y.; Ikram S.; Ballinger T.; Gouveia S.; Burak M.; Wiggins T.; *Bathgate S.;

Citation:Obesity Surgery. Conference: 14th Annual Scientific Meeting of British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, BOMSS 2023. Birmingham United Kingdom. 33(Supplement 1) (pp S129), 2023. Date of Publication: July 2023.

Abstract:Introduction Patients with obesity awaiting joint replacement surgery of the lower limbs may benefit from referral to weight-management services. (1) NICE provides BMI criteria for referral to tertiary bariatric services, however this does not always translate into clinical practice. (2, 3) Our aim was to assess the number and management of patients with obesity attending orthopaedic clinics for consideration of lower limb joint replacement. Methods A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all patients attending orthopaedic clinics for joint replacement secondary to osteoarthritis, in the lower limbs, at a single centre, over a two year period. Details of demographics, BMI, comorbidities and management plans were recorded from electronic patient records. Results 335 patients (60% of 558 cases) had BMI recorded and were used for subsequent analysis. 36% (n=120) of patients were eligible for referral to weight-management services. 10% (n=32) were refused joint replacement surgery due to BMI, of which 81% (n=26) were eligible for referral to weight-management services. Instead of surgery, these 32 patients were offered: physiotherapy (n=10, 38%), analgesia (n=12, 46%), non-specific weight-loss advice (n=16, 62%), GP referral for weight-loss (n=6, 23%), and tertiary service referral for weight-loss (n=2, 8%). Conclusions BMI is an important risk factor for orthopaedic operations and increased efforts should be made to record it pre-operatively. An MDT approach would capture the notable proportion of patients who are not being appropriately referred to weight-management services which may impact on their quality of life and postoperative outcomes.