The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased in recent decades. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of obesity in patients undergoing primary total elbow arthroplasty.
From 1987 to 2006, 723 primary semiconstrained, linked total elbow arthroplasties were performed in 654 patients. The average patient age (and standard deviation) at the time of surgery was 62.3 ± 13.7 years, with 550 total elbow arthroplasties (76%) performed in women. Total elbow arthroplasties were used to treat inflammatory conditions in patients undergoing 378 total elbow arthroplasties (52%) and to treat acute traumatic or posttraumatic conditions in patients undergoing 310 total elbow arthroplasties (43%). Patients were classified as non-obese (having a body mass index of <30 kg/m2) in 564 total elbow arthroplasties (78%) and as obese (having a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2) in 159 total elbow arthroplasties (22%). The median duration of follow-up was 5.8 years (range, zero to twenty-five years). Survivorship of total elbow arthroplasty was estimated with use of the Kaplan-Meier method.