Effects Of Weight Loss On Osteoarthritis
While bariatric surgery for weight loss has been known to provide many health benefits, its effect on osteoarthritis (OA) has not yet been much researched. All of this has now become a lot clearer due to research being carried out in the Cleveland Clinic. What has been found is that weight loss after bariatric surgery “has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for patients suffering from OA”.
The importance of such a study is self-evident when one looks at the number of obese patients who are correspondingly suffering from OA. OA leads to “life-long disability and pain” and any form of relief from it is subsequently invaluable.
Dr Husni led the study, following 67 patients, for a period of three years to see how bariatric surgery affected their OA. “Eighteen of the participants were given medical intervention alone and the other 49 received medical intervention and underwent bariatric surgery”. After one year, those who received medical treatment and had the bariatric surgery had significant improvements in their “physical functioning, pain, general health, and energy and fatigue”.
What was significant from this study, as Dr Husni mentioned, was that it ‘stood the test of time’. Even after three years, the results were the same and there were significant improvements in the patients.
The study is, therefore, a beacon of hope for many, a promise that with losing weight through bariatric surgery, people’s quality of life will significantly improve for those suffering from OA.
Therefore, while it is important that patients understand the advantages and disadvantages of surgery, meaning that surgery may not always be the best option, it is true that bariatric surgery can induce significant weight loss and assist those suffering from OA. The relief that bariatric surgery can offer is therefore invaluable and many patients who are obese and suffering from OA should consider bariatric surgery to help lose weight.
REF: Arthritis Centre, Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic
Dr M. Elaine Husni
The study was presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Francisco