Knee problems are rampant in obese and overweight patients. It is also one of the possible causes of immobility in adults and older people. Obesity has led to bone and joint problems, cartilage breakdown, and ultimately osteoarthritis. It is essential to maintain an optimal weight to prevent knee problems. Aside from diet and exercise, weight loss surgery can help obese patients diagnosed with knee problems.
Obesity will not only lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea, but also knee problems. When one is overweight or obese, there is additional pressure on the knee joints that affects the cartilage in the knees. This can cause cartilage wear. Less cartilage suggests poorer cushioning, which could lead to various knee problems and conditions. Knee problems are debilitating and can leave one bedridden for life.
Anamika Sharma (Name Change) a 50-year-old woman from mumbai, weighing 96 kg with a BMI of 37.5, thyroid and osteoarthritis were detected. A total knee replacement (TKR) was recommended, but after the surgery her weight dropped and all of her health problems began to resolve. She no longer needed TKR as the excess weight/fat on his body was gone and she was able to walk and exercise properly. There are many patients like this who are suffering miserably due to obesity and other health conditions associated with it. It is the need of the hour to stay in shape, maintain an optimal weight and stay in top shape throughout life.
Dr. Manish Motwani, Chief Bariatric Surgeon – Aastha Bariatrics – Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery said: “Obesity is associated with an elevated risk of a number of chronic diseases. Implications for the musculoskeletal system include both degenerative and inflammatory conditions, with the greatest burden resulting from osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a clinical syndrome of joint pain and dysfunction caused by joint degeneration and affects more people than any other joint disease. OA is one of the most prevalent comorbidities of obesity, and obesity is now recognized as an important modifiable risk factor for OA, as well as a factor that can accelerate OA of the knee. Carrying additional body weight on OA creates a damaging load on the joints. In the last two years, among 2,000 OPD patients over the age of 40, 80% complained of knee pain. Obesity has been linked to higher rates of surgical complications and early postoperative complications in patients undergoing TKR, as well as longer hospital stays for these patients. The success rate of TKR surgery was increased in patients who had undergone bariatric surgery as the weight reduces the pressure on the knee and better mobility is achieved.”
Being overweight increases the chances of premature knee wear, but it is not the main cause of OA of the knees. Strengthening muscles and bones can definitely help prevent early OA, said Dr. Rakesh Nair, consultant knee replacement surgeon at Zen Multispecialty Hospital, Chembur.
Dr. Motwani added: “The good news is that most or all of these problems can be remedied by losing weight. Losing just 10% of your body weight can cut arthritis pain in half. Losing 20% can reduce arthritis pain by another 25% or more. It can also slow down or even stop the progression of the disease. Weight loss has been shown to improve pain and function in hip and knee joints with osteoarthritis. Currently, bariatric surgery is the only evidence-based approach for marked weight loss in obese people. Before surgery, at least two-thirds of patients have some arthritic complaint. After surgery, almost all improve, many quite markedly and some after a few months. More than half of the patients who had trouble moving before surgery had no mobility problems afterward. Obese patients need to maintain an ideal weight, exercise daily, and eat a well-balanced diet. If one’s BMI is above 30, bariatric surgery might be a good idea. It is a game changer and an effective way to treat obesity, not only to decrease weight, but also to address comorbidities and improve survival of severely obese patients.”