In a study from the International Congress on Obesity, scientists found a person doesn’t have to pack on very many extra pounds before their risk of needing a knee replacement increases strongly.
They found weight gain of just 11 pounds increases a woman’s odds of needing total knee replacement surgery by one-third and a man’s by one-quarter.
The team says knee pain and stiffness also increased with this weight gain, while people’s overall quality of life and ability to use their knees decreased.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints wears away over time, allowing the ends of bones to rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
In the current study, the team reviewed 20 prior studies that examined the relationship between weight gain and osteoarthritis.
They found that weight gain had strong detrimental effects on the knee joint, including damage visible on X-rays.
This means osteoarthritis was more likely to develop with weight gain and to progress more quickly.
The researchers found that an 11-pound increase in weight made total knee replacement surgery 35% more likely for women and 25% more likely for men.
They say Knee replacements are costly and one in five people are dissatisfied with the results and remain in pain after surgery.
Those who remain in pain are more likely to require a second surgery, which is more costly and less likely to control their pain.
The team suggests people at risk for osteoarthritis should be counseled on ways to manage their weight.
Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
If you care about weight loss, please read studies about popular weight loss diets linked to heart disease and cancer, and this exercise has unique benefits for weight loss.
For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that the green Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and a Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.
The study was conducted by Dr. Anita Wluka et al and presented at a medical meeting.
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