Knee Replacement Surgery If You Are Overweight

Trayguy Member Posts: 38
edited 24. Jul 2016, 11:58 in Living with Arthritis archive

I am just interested to hear if anyone has managed to have a knee replacement done when they are overweight.

The reason I ask is because I am finding it impossible to find anyone that will help me.

I have been told I need both my knees doing but was told I had to have a BMI below 40. I set about losing weight and managed to lose 2.5 stone but still not quite at 40BMI. Feeling pleased with my progress I went back to the specialist who then said the goal was now a BMI of 35. I have now been told I have to get it to 32. It seems every time I go back and have lost a bit they lower the weight I have to get to.

I am now so fed up with it all as it seems they are just not prepared to ever do it.

I am 53 years old and they have mentioned I am a bit too young aswell.

Just be interested to see if this is normal.


P.S I was told if I paid to have it done private they would do it straight away!!!!


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are to be congratulated on losing weight, Trayguy, and I'm sure that will benefit your health in many ways.

    I think there are two factors here.

    Firstly, research shows that surgical complications and post-op infections are higher in those with a BMI of more than 30 and also that success rates are lower. Secondly, the NHS is getting more and more strapped for cash so is more likely to pay attention to such things.

    Private medicine doesn't have the financial constraints of the NHS but I would never want a private op. I have a friend who almost died because his private hospital, contrary to his notes, didn't monitor him overnight. By the time they did he was in a coma. The on-call doctor couldn't be contacted.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done on losing the weight you have, it's not easy to do and I hope you are feeling some of the benefits it brings. I was refused knees when I was 52 (or maybe 53) because I was too young and too fat (my BMI then was 38, I've no idea what it is now but I am lighter than I was). The knee joint is more complicated than a hip and knees bear most of the weight. I'm now 57 and thinner but haven't made any further enquiries - I prefer the devils I know. DD
  • Trayguy
    Trayguy Member Posts: 38
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I totally agree that the NHS isn't a bottomless pit so I do understand why the restrictions are there.

    I will just carry on trying to lose weight and maybe it will improve a bit with carrying less weight on my knees.

  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Being overweight and 'too young' are normal reasons given for refusal/delay of replacement joints, and for good reason as Sticky has mentioned re weight(age is to do with likely 'lifespan' of the replacement joint)
    You might like to look at the NICE guidelines CG177 to see what else should be taken into account when such decisions are made.