Accommodating obese patients in an orthopaedic practice

By Adolph J. “Chick” Yates Jr., MD

Careful planning, frank discussions best serve a difficult patient population

An increasing number of Americans are overweight; many meet the definition of obesity (body mass index of 30 or more). While the lay press trumpets an “obesity epidemic,” the orthopaedic literature is also increasingly reporting on the higher rates of perioperative complications associated with the overweight patient. Many orthopaedic ailments are associated with weight, especially arthritis of the hip and knee.

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