AOSSM Logo Knee pain related to osteoarthritis (OA) appears as one of the five leading causes of disability among elderly men and women. According to a recent study, knee pain from OA can be eased by simply losing weight. The study findings probably have greater significance in the health-space.

During the study, a total of 24 adult patients from an age group of 30-67 years, diagnosed as obese with clinical and radiographic evidence of knee OA were examined. By means of Western Ontario and McMaster (WOMAC) Index of Osteoarthritis and Knee and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) surveys experts assayed at a pre-bariatric surgery baseline at six and 12 months post surgery. All the participants reported some kind of improvement in their pain from losing 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,” explained lead investigator Christopher Edwards of the Penn State College of Medicine.

It can therefore be concluded that weight loss allegedly benefits individuals suffering from radiographically confirmed OA. Apart from improvement in knee pain, losing weight may also enhance quality of life. Further investigation can be initiated to find out whether knee arthritis symptom improvement continues over time and that the results are applicable to those individuals who are simply overweight.

The study was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day program.