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Obesity increases the incidence, rate, and severity of knee dislocations

A study of more than 19,000 knee dislocations in the US between 2000 and 2012 has shown the devastating impact that obesity is having on traumatic injuries. The study, from Brown University, was conducted due to the correlation of increasing rates of obesity and rates of knee dislocations. The authors have also noted how low-impact causes, that result in dislocation, are now on the rise. In order to understand what was causing these changes, the researchers used data from a twelve-year period and found that people with obesity made up an increasing portion of knee dislocation patients – rising from 8 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2012.

The team also found that vascular injury was more common in patients with obesity; this is particularly worrying as vascular compromise can easily lead to amputation if left untreated or undiscovered. The authors of the study commented that this was also disturbing as many low impact knee dislocations are traditionally thought to not result in vascular compromise, this study highlights the importance of double checking for clinicians who are treating overweight or patients with obesity specifically. Whilst the data itself ends in 2012 the authors are quite sure that the trends have continued and hope that more notice of these injuries and their severity will be taken.

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