Weight loss may prevent, treat osteoarthritis in obese patients

March 8, 2013, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Weight loss may prevent and significantly alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, a progressive disease of the joints known as "wear and tear" arthritis, according to a literature review appearing in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

According to the article, obesity actually may trigger the biomechanical and inflammatory changes that cause osteoarthritis, and the pain and loss of mobility associated with the condition.

"There's a clear link between obesity and osteoarthritis, and the link is both from biomechanical factors as well as systemic factors. The systemic component appears to be significant," said Ryan C. Koonce, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon, Wash., and one of the authors of the literature review.

Approximately one half of osteoarthritis cases of the knee could be avoided in the U.S. if obesity was removed as a risk factor, according to the article. Other highlights include:

  • Greater weight and load bearing across a particular joint leads to increased wear.
  • (WAT), a powerful endocrine organ that can trigger inflammation, is found in abundance in obese adults.
  • Obesity is considered to be an underlying cause of hypertension, and other metabolic syndrome conditions.
  • Obesity is a strong for pain, especially in soft-tissue structures such as tendons.
  • Weight loss can diminish pain, and restore function and quality of life in osteoarthritis patients, and possibly avert approximately 111,206 each year.
"It's important that doctors are aware of the different ways that obesity causes arthritis not only for treatment but for prevention of the condition," said Jonathan T. Bravman, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Colorado, an orthopaedic surgeon, and a co-author of the study. "We are underutilizing weight loss as a primary treatment option for arthritis and joint pain."

Explore further: Knee replacement not an 'easy solution' for obese patients

Related Stories

Knee replacement not an 'easy solution' for obese patients

October 24, 2012
Obese patients have a greater risk of complications following total knee replacement surgery, including post-surgical infections, according to a new literature review recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery ...

Scientists Find Obesity Alone Does Not Cause Arthritis in Animals

September 29, 2009
(PhysOrg.com) -- The link between obesity and osteoarthritis may be more than just the wear and tear on the skeleton caused by added weight.

Adolescents' weight linked to severe knee pain

September 5, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Adolescents with a body mass index (BMI) rating of obese experience knee pain more often and to a greater severity than adolescents with a healthy weight, a new study shows.

Weight loss improves knee pain from common arthritic condition, study says

February 19, 2011
Knee pain related to osteoarthritis (OA) is a common complaint among obese individuals and retired professional athletes, especially former NFL players, but researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society ...

Weight loss + exercise helps knees

November 16, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Weight loss combined with exercise reduces pain and improves mobility in people with knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented by Professor of Health and Exercise Science Steve Messier earlier ...

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss

July 14, 2009
Obesity, among other factors, is strongly associated with an increased risk of rapid cartilage loss, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

Recommended for you

Amount of weight regain after bariatric surgery helps predict health risks

October 16, 2018
Measuring the percentage of weight regained following the maximum amount of weight lost after bariatric surgery can help predict a patient's risk of several serious health problems, according to a long-term, multicenter study ...

Technique to 'listen' to a patient's brain during tumour surgery

October 16, 2018
Surgeons could soon eavesdrop on a patient's brain activity during surgery to remove their brain tumour, helping improve the accuracy of the operation and reduce the risk of impairing brain function.

Researchers link gut bacteria to heart transplant success or failure

October 4, 2018
In a new study, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have found that the gut microbiome appears to play a key role in how well the body accepts a transplanted heart. The scientists found a ...

Focus on neuroscience, nociception to improve anesthesia, paper says

October 1, 2018
People sometimes mistakenly think of general anesthesia as just a really deep sleep but in fact, anesthesia is really four brain states—unconsciousness, amnesia, immobility and suppression of the body's damage sensing response, ...

Bariatric surgery linked to safer childbirth for the mother

September 27, 2018
Obese mothers who lose weight through bariatric surgery can have safer deliveries. The positive effects are many, including fewer caesarean sections, infections, tears and haemorrhages, and fewer cases of post-term delivery ...

Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed

September 25, 2018
When emergency tests showed the telltale right-sided pain in Heather VanDusen's abdomen was appendicitis, she figured she'd be quickly wheeled into surgery. But doctors offered her the option of antibiotics instead.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.