Bariatric Surgery as a Remedy For Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
My husband has had knee pain since he was about twelve years old. Now, as an adult, he carries both the frame and weight of an adult on knees that would be subject to recall if they were built in Detroit. As a matter of fact, he carries more weight than he really should, and he is aware of it
Lately, he has shed a few pounds and lo and behold, the pain in his knees is less. This is quite a relief for him because the sting in his knees can be testing on any given day. It is not unusual to see him go hobbling by, looking as if he were just in a car accident. Making it worse is the onset of arthritis. My poor sweetie.
If he continues to shed pounds, there will be additional relief. He is capable of mustering the discipline he needs, and the amount of weight he needs to lose is not insurmountable.
Unfortunately, there are some who have passed the point where modest weight loss is enough. For them, research suggests that bariatric surgery is a viable option.
Bariatric Surgery and Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Studies show that the weight loss that follows bariatric surgery is effective for relieving osteoarthritis pain, particularly in the knee.
The results of a follow-up of 24 patients who had both clinical and radiographic evidence of knee problems and who also had bariatric surgery was shared at a 2011 meeting of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine held at the Penn State College of Medicine.
Surveys evaluating pain, stiffness, and physical functioning were completed by the patients at six and twelve month intervals. The patients ranged in age from 30 to 67 years old with an average weight loss of 57 pounds.
In the six month survey patients reported significant improvement in knee pain and stiffness, physical functioning, and overall quality of life and daily living activities. All improvements were achieved without the use of medications.
In another study, researchers at New York University conducted chart reviews of 264 patients who had bariatric surgery. The average follow-up was about 17 months, and the average weight loss was 28.4 percent of excess weight.
Seventy-one percent of those who had gastric bypass surgery, 63 percent of those who had a sleeve gastrectomy, and 51 percent of those who had lap band surgery reported relief from knee osteoporosis pain.
While bariatric surgery can significantly reduce knee pain, it must be noted that the weight loss surgery does not reverse arthritis.
Additional Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Osteoarthritis
In addition to pain relief, bariatric surgery has been shown to improve other health conditions, as well.
A number of additional studies have concluded that weight loss surgery can relive other health problems that people with osteoarthritis commonly have such as hypertension, high triglycerides, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Most impressive is the positive effect that weight loss surgery has had in addressing type-2 diabetes. Separate studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that bariatric surgery may actually reverse the disease.
If you liked this article, you also may be interested in reading the following articles on the HealthCentral Osteoarthritis site. First, Debunking the Myths of Arthritis has information about reducing knee pain/preventing osteoarthritis, including the startling fact that losing just 1 pound will take 4 pounds of strain off your knees. You also may wish to read this section on Joint Replacement Surgery.
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Arthritis Foundation - http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/treatment-plan/bariatric-surgery-and-oa.php
Published On: May 30, 2013