Bariatric Surgery and Osteoarthritis?

April 3, 2011

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint paint and is caused by years of wear and tear on the joints.  Most people suffer from osteoarthritis at some point in their life and almost everyone has osteoarthritis by the time they are 70. However, as we become more obese as a nation, it is becoming an obesity-related health problem (especially in the feet, hips, ankles and knees).

It essentially is caused by cartilage (which cushions the bones at joints) breaking down and allowing the bones to start rubbing together. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness amongst other aches and pains. It is not a pleasant feeling and unfortunately, it cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

Losing weight definitely can help control osteoarthritis. Weight loss surgery is one way to begin to control the diseases. However, after weight loss surgery you will be expected to diet and exercise. You may think this is a catch 22 – how can you lose weight if you can’t exercise because of the osteoarthritis? Talk to your doctor about exercise plans that are easier on your joints, such as water aerobics or cycling. Start slow – thirty minutes a day – and then build up your endurance.

Diet is also crucial – eat balanced and healthy meals with plenty of protein. Also, apply ice and heat to the affected areas and get plenty of rest. Once you start taking care of the joints and lose some weight, you can start incorporating more exercise. A doctor can also prescribe medication to help ease the discomfort.

The most important thing to remember is to not let osteoarthritis stop you from obtaining your weight loss goals. Just make sure to listen to your body and do what you can to protect those joints!

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Advanced Surgical Associates is one of the first exclusively surgical groups practicing in Union County New Jersey. And that is just the first of many firsts for ASA. For over 40 years, we have pioneered breakthrough surgical patient care in North Jersey in both general and weight loss surgery. ASA also offers gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding to those suffering from obesity in New Jersey.
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