In November 2022, Dr. Dominic Carreira and Dr. J. Weston Robison published an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons on treating obesity in patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
Key Findings about Treating Obesity in Patients Undergoing Orthopaedic Surgery
Together Dr. Carreira and Dr. Robison reported a number of key findings that will help inform treatment options for patients with obesity and weight issues.
- Patients with obesity are at higher risk of osteoarthritis, inflammation, Vitamin D deficiency, new onset depression, and all-cause mortality.
- In patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery, obesity is associated with greater risk of surgical site infection, increased blood loss, venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, inferior functional/pain-related outcomes, and need for revision (when a surgery needs to be redone.)
Why is Obesity a Problem When Undergoing Orthopaedic Surgery?
Obesity is a complex, multifactorial condition that induces stress throughout the musculoskeletal system. It leads to increased costs and health complications due to infection, revision, and blood loss following orthopaedic surgery.
Research and Education Can Lead to Better Outcomes
One of the driving reasons behind Dr. Carreira’s research into treating obesity in patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery is Dr. Carreira’s goal of achieving better outcomes for patients. Dr. Carreira is a proponent of ensuring that patients understand the breadth of treatment options available to them – and that his patient understand that many factors determine the likelihood of surgical success.
Given the clear risks associated with obesity in patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery, Dr. Carreira believes that in educating patients about the many aspects under their control when it comes to obesity, he can help those patients gain better outcomes when (or if) they need orthopaedic surgery. He educates his patients on the different methods to reaching a healthy weight. Dr. Carreira routinely speaks with patients – prospective orthopaedic surgery patients – about the following strategies for obesity and weight reduction:
- Improving nutritional quality
- Restricting calorie intake
- Weight gain prevention
- Community support
- Regular exercise
- Bariatric surgery
As a medical doctor specializing in arthroscopic orthopaedic surgery, Dr. Carreira knows that he and his fellow orthopedic surgeons can have a profound impact on both patients’ short-term procedure outcomes and their long-term health by educating patients about reducing obesity and establishing healthy body weight practices.
The article is available on the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website.