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Obesity in total hip arthroplasty

does it make a difference?

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The purpose of our study is to summarise the current scientific findings regarding the impact of obesity on total hip arthroplasty (THA); specifically the influence of obesity on the timing of THA, incidence of complications, and effect on clinical and functional outcomes.

Materials and Methods

We performed a systematic review that was compliant with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to identify prospective studies from the PubMed/Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases that evaluated primary THA in obese (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2) patients.


There were 17 articles included in the review, which encompassed 13 722 THA patients. Analysis of the included studies showed that, when compared with non-obese patients, obesity was associated with younger age at time of primary THA, and an increased incidence of complications (up to four-fold). Results were mixed on the influence of obesity on the outcomes of primary THA, with three studies showing a detrimental effect on outcomes of a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, while eight studies showed no effect.


Obesity is associated with significantly younger age at time of primary THA and obese patients are likely to experience a higher rate of peri-operative complications. More investigation is needed into the effect of obesity on clinical outcomes, as the current literature is mixed.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B(1 Supple A):31–6.

Correspondence should be sent to R. L. Barrack; email:

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