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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 786474, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/786474
Case Report

Persistently High Hip Circumference after Bariatric Surgery Is a Major Hurdle to Successful Hip Replacement

1Orthopedics Department, Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, 501 South 54th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143, USA
2Nutrition Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity Branch, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 29 October 2013; Accepted 23 January 2014; Published 4 March 2014

Academic Editor: Larry W. Moreland

Copyright © 2014 Menachem M. Meller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The prevalence of class III obesity ( kg/m2) in black women is 18%. As class III obesity leads to hip joint deterioration, black women frequently present for orthopedic care. Weight loss associated with bariatric surgery should lead to enhanced success of hip replacements. However, we present a case of a black woman who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass with the expectation that weight loss would make her a better surgical candidate for hip replacement. Her gastric bypass was successful as her BMI declined from 52.0 kg/m2 to 33.7 kg/m2. However, her hip circumference after weight loss remained persistently high. Therefore, at surgery the soft tissue tunnel geometry presented major challenges. Tunnel depth and immobility of the soft tissue interfered with retractor placement, tissue reflection, and surgical access to the acetabulum. Therefore a traditional cup placement could not be achieved. Instead, a hemiarthroplasty was performed. After surgery her pain and reliance on external support decreased. But her functional independence never improved. This case demonstrates that a lower BMI after bariatric surgery may improve the metabolic profile and decrease anesthesia risk, but the success of total hip arthroplasties remains problematic if fat mass in the operative field (i.e., high hip circumference) remains high.