Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by joint injury, stress on the joints from certain types of work, a genetic defect in joint cartilage, joints that improperly form, and being overweight or obese.
Treatment plans can involve exercise, weight control, rest and joint care. Bariatric surgery for osteoarthritis is also proving to be an effective treatment option.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the end of bones wears down. This happens most often in the hands, knees, hips and spine. Read, “Weight Loss for Obesity and Back Pain.”
When osteoarthritis occurs the bones under the cartilage can begin to rub together and cause joint pain, swelling, and loss of joint motion. The joint may lose its normal shape at a point in time.
Bone spurs might also grow at the end of the joints. Small pieces of bone or cartilage can break free and float in the joint space.
Bariatric Surgery for Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Studies show that the weight loss after bariatric surgery is effective for relieving osteoarthritis pain, particularly knee pain. Read, “Link Between Obesity and Joint Pain.”
The results of the 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 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 gastric sleeve surgery, and 51 percent of those who had gastric 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. Read, “Novel Protein Powder for Joint Health.”
Additional Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
A number of additional studies have concluded that weight loss surgery can relieve other related illnesses commonly had by people with osteoarthritis. These health problems include 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.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life