The study included 20 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery and 40 patients who had total knee replacement due to arthritis.
One year after their procedure, the patients who had weight-loss surgery reported significant improvements in knee pain. Their results were comparable to the patients who had a knee replacement, according to the study, which was presented Friday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in New Orleans.
Compared to the knee-replacement patients, the weight-loss patients showed much greater improvement in knee function six months after surgery, according to an academy news release. After one year, however, the difference was much smaller.
Weight-loss patients who had knee arthritis reported less improvement in knee pain and function after surgery than those without arthritis.
Doctors should consider weight-loss surgery for obese patients who have knee problems but do not have advanced arthritis in the knee, the researchers concluded.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about weight-loss surgery.