Does Bariatric Surgery Prior to Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty Improve Outcomes?

Sean P. Ryan, Cory G. Couch, Stephanie Q. Duong, Michael J. Taunton, David G. Lewallen, Daniel J. Berry, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent advancements in bariatric surgical techniques have increased its utilization for the management of morbid obesity prior to total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We hypothesized that bariatric surgery prior to primary TKA would mitigate postoperative complications and improve implant survivorship. Methods: A retrospective review from 1992-2020 identified 205 bariatric surgery patients with subsequent primary TKA. This cohort was matched 1:1:1 to patients without bariatric surgery and with BMI <40 kg/m2 and BMI ≥40 kg/m2. Revisions, reoperations, and 90-day complications were evaluated. Subgroup analysis evaluated bariatric patients with BMI >40 kg/m2 at TKA, the time between surgeries, and compared historical to contemporary bariatric techniques. Results: Bariatric patients demonstrated higher revision rates than low (HR 4, P < .01) and high BMI (HR 9, P < .01) controls, and increased reoperations when compared to the low (HR 2, P < .01) and high BMI (HR 6, P < .01) groups. Reoperation for instability was more common in bariatric patients than low (HR 15, P = .01) and high BMI (HR 17, P < .01) groups. Reoperation for infection was higher in bariatric patients relative to the high BMI (HR 6, P = .03), but not the low BMI cohort (HR 3, P = .06). There was no difference in 90-day complications (P = .33). Bariatric patients with high BMI and contemporary bariatric procedures did not significantly impact complications or survivorship, but bariatric surgery >2 years before TKA was associated with higher revision rates (P = .01). Conclusion: This study found that bariatric surgery patients who undergo primary TKA have worse implant survivorship, mostly related to infection and instability. Further investigation into perioperative optimization is warranted. Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S165-S169
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • complications
  • gastric bypass
  • periprosthetic joint infection
  • total joint arthroplasty
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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