Weight loss after lap-band surgery eases chronic osteoarthritis knee pain

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lap-band surgery, knee pain, arthritis surgery, arthritis digestExtremely obese people who have a band surgically strapped around their stomachs to restrict food intake lose weight and suffer less from osteoarthritis knee pain says new research in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. Knee pain in obese people is believed to come from the deterioration and inflammation in the joint caused in part by the extra weight they bear.

Pain relief in the 120 people studied was most evident in the youngest men and women with knee osteoarthritis who lost the most weight after lap-band surgery.

“Our study shows that extremely obese people seeking relief from their knee pain should consider lap-band surgery earlier because the benefits from it being successful – although significant for all ages – decrease with age,” says Dr Jonathan Samuels, who led the work.

The team says it is likely that knee joints and cartilage become so damaged after a certain point that there is little cushion left for weight loss to preserve. People in the study who were in their forties reported nearly twice as much pain relief after lap-band as those who had the surgery in their fifties.

Lap band surgery is considered relatively safe but complications may include nausea, stomach ulcers, and infection.

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