Obesity can lead to permanent knee damage: Studies

Monday, February 14, 2011

WASHINGTON - New studies have been presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) to look at the effect that obesity has on knee arthritis and a patient’s ability to recover from knee surgery.

One new study found that while weight loss via bariatric surgery may improve knee pain in obese patients with knee osteoarthritis, there may be permanent damage to the knee from being morbidly obese.

Also, two new studies released today examine whether obesity contributes to greater complications after hip and knee replacement surgery.

The first study considers patients in the “super obese” category who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 45.

Ran Schwarzkopf, co-investigator and chief resident, 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.

The second study analyzed complication rates for morbidly obese patients (BMI greater than 40) after total joint replacement (TJR).

Led by Richard J. Friedman, co-investigator and Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Roper Hospital, Charleston, SC, the study found that morbid obesity contributed to a significantly higher incidence of complications such as redness around the surgical wound, swelling of the legs, bacterial infections, respiratory disorders, neurologic and gastrointestinal complications and cardiac arrhythmias following total hip and knee replacements.

Another new study released analyzed the effects of isolated weight loss via bariatric surgery on knee osteoarthritis. The study found that isolated weight loss following bariatric surgery resulted in significant improvements in knee pain, stiffness and function.

The findings are from a series of studies yet to be published. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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