Obese knee burden as replacement ops hit all time high

Overweight people are not only a burden on the NHS but on their own knees.

overweight knees

There has been a surge of 150% in knee replacement surgery with more than 9,500 people, including teenagers having knee replacement surgery last year because their joints could not cope with their weight, according to new NHS figures. And the cost to the NHS of repairing crumbling knees over a 4-year period is estimated at around £50 million.

Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion each year with 40,000 people dying as a result of being overweight or obese.

Now one in 10 patients given new knees is obese, up from one in 20 just four years ago. In 2009-10, there were 3,787 operations carried out in England and Wales where obesity was listed as a main or secondary diagnosis.
But by 2012-13, the number had leapt to 9,438, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveal.

Over the last four years there have been a total of 28,000 cases where obesity was regarded as a major trigger for knee replacements. It includes one boy aged between 10 and 14 who went under the knife in 2010-11. 
Also in the last four years, knee replacements have been carried out on two boys and two girls aged 15-19. 

The majority of knee operations are carried out on older people, aged 60+ but recently there has been a tripling of knee replacements among obese under-40s.

Each knee replacement operation costs around £5,500, and should last for around 15 to 20 years. But the obese may have to have more than one replacement because of the strain caused by weight.

A knee replacement is classed as ‘major surgery’ by the NHS and is only offered after other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections have failed to help. 

Women rush to rejuvenate wrinklie knees, says Cynosure


London: The media obsession with the wrinkly knees of celebrities, such as Elle Macpherson and Demi Moore, has fuelled a huge increase in the latest specialist procedure to rejuvenate them.

Cynosure Smartlipo MPX™ , the name for a procedure in which doctors “disolve” fat and flab using a laser, reports a 100% increase in treatments and enquiries

The increase in demand has occured in both North America and the UK for laser knee sculpting.

Dr Stephen Mulholland, one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons with practices in Toronto and Los Angeles comments, ‘Treatments are up 100% with the number of enquires also increasing.’

Dr Ayham Ayoubi, the first person in the UK to perform this procedure using the Smartlipo MPX™ system has seen a corresponding increase in enquiries about the use of Smartlipo for knees, noting that the increase in enquiries is up 100% since the beginning of the year. He has completed more than 40 laser knee sculpting procedures on clients since the launch of Smartlipo MPX™ in September 2008.

Karen Tipping, Marketing Manager for Cynosure says of the rise in enquiries, “Anecdotal evidence from clinics attributes the rise in enquiries to the increase in newspaper and magazine articles that reference celebrities and their unsightly knobbly knees.”

The popularity of the treatment itself and successfully completed procedures has been attributed to the swift and virtually pain free option that laser lipolysis offers. Downtime is shorter with Smartlipo and most people return to work within a few days. There is less bruising and is minimally invasive, making only a small incision in the skin.

Fast, efficient, with permanent results, Laser Knee Sculpting works by introducing pulsed laser energy through a cannula to liquefy fat, which is then removed from the body. The laser energy also coagulates the tissue, thereby sculpting body contours and tightening the skin. The procedure generally causes less bleeding, swelling and bruising than traditional liposuction, resulting in fewer complications and faster recovery.

Taking around 1 hour for the total process (both knees), the treatment takes place under a local anesthetic which results in minimal downtime for the client. On average, around 100-150 ml of fat is removed from each knee. Many clients are advised to wear a support garment for up to 10 days after the procedure to ensure maximum results. Clients can return to work within a few days, the gym after about a week and swimming – about 10 days. It costs around £1,700

For more info contact Cynosure at T: + 44 (0)1628 522252 or visit www.cynosureuk.com

Before and After pictures below: