Could weight loss surgery before knee replacement improve outcomes or even eliminate the need for joint replacement in severely overweight patients? A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) aims to answer that question.
Orthopedic surgeons often encourage obese patients considering knee replacement to try to lose weight before the procedure. The study, known as SWIFT (Surgical Weight-Loss to Improve Functional Status Trajectories Following Total Knee Arthroplasty), is enrolling patients at a number of hospitals nationwide, including HSS. The goal is to compare outcomes in individuals who have bariatric surgery versus those who do not have weight loss surgery before joint replacement. Researchers also aim to determine if losing a significant amount of weight could enable patients to hold off on knee replacement or postpone it indefinitely.