Obesity can cause irreparable damage to knees

February 14th, 2011 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 14 (IANS) Being morbidly obese could permanently damage your knees, says a new study.

The investigation included a group of morbidly obese patients with knee osteoarthritis who were evaluated before and after bariatric surgery or surgically-assisted weight loss.

Patients lost an average of 51 pounds or 23 kg in one year. One year after surgery, knee pain and function improved significantly.

“People felt there was nothing they could do to mitigate the debilitating effects of knee arthritis, but now we know that surgically-assisted weight loss is a way that folks can help themselves,” says Michael S. Sridhar, co-investigator and resident at Emory University.

“However, there is probably some element of irreparable damage from being morbidly obese that may constrain the improvement in knee pain despite significant weight loss,” he added, according to an Emory statement.

Another study found that complication rates for total joint replacement (TJR) patients may increase for “super-obese” patients. It compared the outcomes after TJR in 137 “super-obese” patients versus 63 non-obese patients.

Ran Schwarzkopf, co-investigator and chief resident of New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, and his research team found that the number of overall complications were significantly higher for the “super-obese” compared to non-obese.

These studies were presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

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