Bariatric Surgery, Knee Pain, and Me: A Guide to Joint Pain and Weight Loss
When you think of weight-related health conditions, what comes to mind? Type 2 Diabetes? Cardiac problems?
Although it might not immediately come to mind, arthritis and joint pain are common for people suffering from obesity and overweight. However, there is hope: gaining weight may lead to these conditions, but living healthier – especially through bariatric surgery – can alleviate them as well.
Don’t wait to learn more; read on!
Arthritis in America
The two most common types of pain caused by obesity are joint pain and arthritis. Their differences may be subtle and easy to miss, but an easy way to tell them apart are
- Joint Pain: An umbrella term that can mean discomfort, pain, or inflammation arising from any part of the joint.
- Arthritis: An inflammation of the joints.
Arthritis is not an uncommon condition in the United States as 1 out of every 4 Americans (over 54 million people) has some form of joint pain. The number only gets higher when viewed in the context of excess weight: 1 in every 3 people suffering from obesity also experiences arthritis.
The most common type of arthritis in the country is osteoarthritis (OA) – it affects 27 million people. People suffering from OA experience a breakdown of cartilage or the tough, flexible tissue at the ends of their joints.
Obesity in America
Obesity is a medical condition occurring when a person has excess weight or body fat that negatively affects their overall health. Someone is considered to be suffering from obesity when their Body Mass Index (BMI) reaches 30. The severity of obesity increases at higher BMIs.
Obesity and overweight have not always been a major problem for adults in the U.S. However, since the 1990s, these conditions have become commonplace and their prevalence has only increased since. As of 2019, 1 out of every 3 adults is affected by obesity.
How Obesity Affects the Body
Unfortunately, for most people suffering from obesity, excess weight is just the start of their troubles. In addition to joint pain and arthritis, obesity can cause:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal cancers
- Sleep apnea
- Liver disease
- Heart problems
- and more
One of the most common physical ailments brought on by excess weight is joint pain — frequently affecting the knees. This pain is caused by the extra strain the joint experiences because of the person’s heavier weight. Every pound of weight we gain translates to four pounds of pressure on our knees. That means, if we were to gain 15 pounds, our knees would be “carrying” 60 pounds!
The wear and tear caused by this added pressure to joints can worsen and become OA. However, it’s not just the added weight that causes damage. Fat is an active tissue that is consistently creating and releasing chemicals. Upon breaking down, these chemicals can cause swelling in joints, thus OA. This problem only gets worse at heavier weights because more fat leads to more chemical decomposition which creates a higher risk for inflammation and OA.
What Can Weight-Loss Surgery Do?
Although obesity can lead to a variety of joint-related problems, there is a solution: weight-loss surgery!
Bariatric procedures are the best way to lose weight and keep it off long-term. These tools provide you with the knowledge and resources needed to develop new lifestyle habits that promote better health.
With procedures like the gastric sleeve, patients can lose anywhere from 50 to 70% of their excess weight. These types of results are not uncommon, meaning that joint pain will all but disappear. For example, say someone with 100 pounds of excess weight loses 65 pounds with the gastric sleeve. That means they will relieve 260 pounds of pressure from their knees!
Along with the weight loss, bariatric surgery promotes fat loss. With less fat present, the body does not produce as many inflammation-promoting chemicals. These two factors, when combined, are a proven case study for bariatric surgery’s ability to alleviate joint pain and arthritis related to obesity.
Don’t wait to live better; learn more about our procedures today!
COME TO NYBG.
When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the most advanced practice offering the most up-to-date procedures and our numbers prove it:
- 13 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
- 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
- The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
- 24/7 access to online seminars
- 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
- Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
- Since 2000, we boast 18 years of success!
Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.