Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s Jim Newman responds to one patient’s question.
The issue of weight is always a difficult one to tackle with patients. We’ve spoken on these pages previously about the advantages of losing weight if you are experiencing knee pain and, by way of a quick recap, there are two key ones:
1. Weight increases the risk of any operation so, if your knee pain was sufficiently severe to warrant surgery (for a partial or total knee replacement, for example) then losing weight could only reduce risk and improve the outcome of that surgery.
2. If your arthritis was at the ‘painful but manageable’ stage, losing weight would take pressure off the knee and could reduce the rate of deterioration.
So could, as one patient asked recently, a gastric band help?
Theoretically, and with the essential caveat that we are knee surgeons not weight loss experts, it could. But what about if you’ve had knee surgery and then have a gastric band fitted? Could that reduce post-operative pain?
Common sense suggests this would be beneficial, but researchers at New York University School of Medicine have added clarity to the situation. Their recent investigations suggest the benefits of a band vary depending on age.
The study followed 120 patients for up to 14 years and the results, published in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism and reported in the South China Morning Post found that:
“Men and women in their 40s experienced post-surgical knee pain reductions after one year of between 50 per cent and 60 per cent; those in their 50s had pain reductions one year later between 30 per cent and 40 per cent; and those in their 60s, had reductions between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.”
Each of the patients studied reported pain relief lasting ten years or longer.
Talk to Yorkshire Knee Clinic about your knee surgery and we certainly wouldn’t make recommendations about gastric bands, but weight remains a risk factor in any operation. For this reason, we may refer you to your GP who could advise you on appropriate methods of weight loss.
As the above evidence suggests, there could be benefits before, during and after the operation.
If you are experiencing knee pain, talk to the knee consultants at Yorkshire Knee Clinic now.
Consultant Knee Surgeon at the Yorkshire Knee Clinic
“Mr Newman? He’s a genius in my eyes.”
Glen Jackson, YKC patient
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