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Weight-Loss Surgery Might Help Mild Knee Pain

Small, early study of obese patients found improvement similar to knee replacement.

Weight-Loss Surgery Might Help Mild Knee Pain

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-loss surgery reduces knee pain in obese people, and the results are similar to those seen in patients who have a knee replacement, according to a small new study.

The study included 20 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery and 40 patients who had total knee replacement due to arthritis.

One year after their procedure, the patients who had weight-loss surgery reported significant improvements in knee pain. Their results were comparable to the patients who had a knee replacement, according to the study, which was presented Friday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in New Orleans.

Compared to the knee-replacement patients, the weight-loss patients showed much greater improvement in knee function six months after surgery, according to an academy news release. After one year, however, the difference was much smaller.

Weight-loss patients who had knee arthritis reported less improvement in knee pain and function after surgery than those without arthritis.

Doctors should consider weight-loss surgery for obese patients who have knee problems but do not have advanced arthritis in the knee, the researchers concluded.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about weight-loss surgery.

SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, news release, March 14, 2014

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