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Osteoarthritis and Morbid Obesity

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints occurs as a result of degeneration of cartilage and bone of the joints, especially in the knees, hips and lower back.

Morbid Obesity is a Major Risk Factor For Osteoarthritis

According to the American Obesity Association, musculoskeletal disorders, including osteoarthritis, are much more prevalent among obese patients, especially patients diagnosed with severe clinical or mobid obesity. Health studies show that obesity is a strong predictor for symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially in the knees.

How Obesity Leads to Osteoarthritis

Severe clinical obesity carries a high risk of arthritic problems because the extra weight placed on joints (particularly knees and hips) results in rapid wear and tear, as well as pain caused by inflammation. On the other hand, weight loss reduces physical pressure on all weight-bearing joints and bones.

Surgery for Osteoarthritis Not Available For Obese Patients

In cases of chronic severe arthritis, joint replacement surgery may be required to relieve the severe pain. Unfortunately, joint replacement has much poorer results in obese patients. As a result, many orthopedic surgeons refuse to perform the surgery on patients suffering from clinical morbid obesity, insisting that they lose weight first.

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