Can Bariatric Surgery Reduce the Need for Knee Replacement?

May 31, 2017 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Arthritis Bariatric Surgery

Knee pain and joint problemsLosing weight can be challenging, especially for people who are obese or morbidly obese. Thanks to bariatric surgery and advanced weight loss techniques, a healthier future is possible. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics is committed to helping these people improve their health, wellness, and overall well-being.

Surgical weight loss has many benefits. For instance, bariatric surgery can reduce stress on the joints, prevent severe arthritis, and potentially avoid the need for joint replacement surgery. Let's explore this issue in more detail.

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis refers to a common chronic condition that affects approximately 27 million Americans. The condition involves the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, resulting pain and difficulty with motion and mobility.

How Obesity Contributes to Arthritis of the Knees

There are many different risk factors for osteoarthritis, and two of the most notable ones involve age and obesity. For every additional pound of excess weight a person carries, an additional 4 pounds of pressure is exerted on the knees. When someone is obese or morbidly obese, the stress on the joints can be considerable.

To put things into additional perspective, let's consider the following statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Roughly 1 in 5 Americans is diagnosed with arthritis; among the obese, that number is 1 in 3.

Preventing knee problems is one major reason why weight loss surgery has been gaining in popularity over the years.

How Weight Loss Surgery Works

During weight loss surgery, the stomach and sometimes part of the intestine is modified in order to reduce the amount of calories consumed and/or absorbed by the body. A person loses weight and keeps the weight off thanks to the changes in the digestive system.

Reduced Stress on the Knees

Thanks to weight loss surgery, the amount of stress on the knees can be greatly reduced. Significant weight loss means that literally hundreds of pounds of pressure can be relieved, which means less wear and tear on the knees as the years go by. The risk of arthritis decreases. At the very least, weight loss can reduce the severity of knee joint damage later in life.

Reduced Risk If Knee Replacement Is Needed

Even if knee replacement surgery is necessary later in life, weight loss surgery can potentially make that procedure safer. Many people who are obese or morbidly obese are at greater risk of surgical complications. By losing excessive weight, these risks are greatly reduced, meaning better surgical recovery and outcomes.

Other Joints Aided by Bariatric Surgery

In addition to relieving the pressure on the knees, bariatric surgery can reduce the amount of stress placed on the hips, the lower back, and the rest of the spine.

Additional Health Benefits to Consider

On top of addressing osteoarthritis, bariatric surgery also helps prevent heart disease, can alleviate hypertension, reduce your risk for certain cancers, and even cure type 2 diabetes. All of these health improvements are significant, which is why so many people frustrated by traditional weight loss methods have turned to bariatrics to start a new and better chapter in their lives.

Learn More About Bariatric Surgery

If you would like more information about the benefits of bariatric surgery and how it can help you improve overall wellness, be sure to contact our team of weight loss surgery specialists today. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics is here to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.