(HealthDay News) – There is no conclusive evidence on whether patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA) lose or gain weight after surgery, according to a study published online September 7th in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Maria CS Inacio, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to examine postoperative weight trends for patients undergoing TJA. Of the 12 identified studies there was one case-cohort study and 11 case series, most of which were from a single-surgeon or single-hospital series. Four of the studies included only total hip arthroplasties; three included only total knee arthroplasties; and five included both.

Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria, the researchers found all of the studies to be of very low quality due to their observational nature and serious limitations. Across the studies, some weight loss was reported for 14%–49% of patients at least one year postoperatively.

“Although weight reduction is recommended for patients undergoing joint arthroplasty, it is still unclear whether TJA can assist with weight reduction,” the authors write. “We recommend larger cohorts of patients using stricter methodology for weight assessment to better characterize the natural developments in weight changes in patients undergoing TJA.”

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