Projected Prevalence of Obesity in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty: How Big Will the Problem Get?

Christopher N. Carender, Natalie A. Glass, David E. DeMik, Jacob M. Elkins, Timothy S. Brown, Nicholas A. Bedard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity is a well-established risk factor for complications following primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study is to utilize 3 national databases to develop projections of obesity within the general population and primary TKA patients in the United States through 2029. Methods: Data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were queried for years 1999-2019. Current Procedural Terminology code 27447 was used to identify primary TKA patients in NSQIP. Individuals were categorized according to body mass index (kg/m2) by year: normal weight (≤24.9); overweight (25.0-29.9); obese (30.0-39.9); and morbidly obese (≥40). Multinomial logistic regression was used to project categorical body mass index data for years 2020-2029. Results: A total of 8,372,221 individuals were included (7,986,414 BRFSS, 385,807 NSQIP TKA). From 2011 to 2019, the prevalence of normal weight and overweight individuals declined in the general population (BRFSS) and in primary TKA. Prevalence of obese/morbidly obese individuals increased in the general population from 31% to 36% and in primary TKA from 60% to 64%. Projection models estimate that by 2029, 46% of the general population will be obese/morbidly obese and 69% of primary TKA will be obese/morbidly obese. Conclusion: By 2029, we estimate ≥69% of primary TKA to be obese/morbidly obese. Increased resources dedicated to care pathways and research focused on improving outcomes in obese arthroplasty patients will be necessary as this population continues to grow. Level of evidence: Level III, Retrospective Cohort Study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • complication
  • morbid obesity
  • obesity
  • projection
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • Body Mass Index
  • Obesity, Morbid/complications
  • Overweight/complications
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/adverse effects
  • Prevalence
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications/etiology
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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