Knee pain related to osteoarthritis (OA) is a common complaint among obese individuals and retired professional athletes, especially former NFL players, but researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day program said they have a simple solution: lose weight.
"Our research on patients who were obese with early-onset knee osteoarthritis showed that those individuals who underwent isolated weight loss via bariatric surgery and lost an average of 57 pounds within the first six months significantly improved their knee pain, stiffness and physical function. Quality of life, activities of daily living and sports activity also improved; all of this without other arthritic treatments," said lead researcher Christopher Edwards of the Penn State College of Medicine.
OA of the knee is one of the five leading causes of disability among elderly men and women in the U.S., and costs $185 billion in out-of-pocket expenditures each year. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for the disease.
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