Malnutrition in Total Joint Arthoplasty

This is a study by Dr.’s Bridget Ellsworth and Atul Kamath looking at the prevalence of malnutrition and the associated complications in the total joint population: study link.


Hypoalbuminemia (albumin <3.5 g/dL) is a commonly used surrogate for malnutrition. Preoperative hypoalbuminemia is prevalent in patients undergoing elective TJA, including in obese patients. Malnutrition has been shown to be an independent risk factor for multiple postsurgical complications in addition to increasing postoperative mortality. It is important for patients and surgeons to recognize the increased risk associated with undergoing elective TJA in a malnourished state. Further research is required to determine if optimization of nutritional status and/or correction of hypoalbuminemia preoperatively influence surgical outcomes in the elective TJA patient.