WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Obesity & Joint Pain

By: Ninette Sosa
By: Ninette Sosa

Knee pain, due to osteoarthritis, is a common complaint among athletes, elderly and those who are overweight.

Now, new studies find the best way to relieve knee pain may be to drop a few pounds.

Here's Ninette Sosa with today's Health Minute.

Obesity can take a toll on a lot of things, including our joints. Several new studies presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons examined how excess weight can put stress on the knees.

A Harvard Medical School research team found that the number of total knee replacement surgeries has doubled from 1997 to 2007. They also noted, during that period, obesity rates grew by 15 percent. They concluded that obesity played a part in this increase in knee surgeries.

In a study out of South Carolina, researchers compared more than 12-thousand normal weight, overweight and obese patients. The number of complications such as leg swellings, and joint problems were higher for those who were obese.

And two studies, one from Emory University and the other from Penn State, found people who underwent bariatric surgery, actually improved their knee pain and function, within six to 12 months after their operations.

The key message in all of this data? Save your knees by dropping some weight.

For today's Health Minute, I'm Ninette Sosa.

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