Objective: To evaluate the effect of weight reduction on the rehabilitation of patients with knee osteoarthritis and obesity.
Methods: A total of 126 patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis and obesity were classified into 3 groups by their stages of osteoarthritis. Each group was divided into subgroups a, b, and c. The subjects in subgroup a received weight reduction treatment, those in subgroup b received weight reduction and electrotherapy modalities, and those in subgroup c received electrotherapy modalities to relieve pain.
Results: Pain reduction, weight reduction, ambulation speed, and changes of Lequesne's index were greater in patients in subgroups a and b than in subgroup c after treatment. Although the last pain scores in subgroup b were less than those in subgroup a, as measured by a visual analog scale (VAS), there was no significant difference between their functional status. Significant pain relief (VAS < 2) and an acceptable functional status (Lequesne's index < 7) were indicated when weight reduction was more than 15% and 12%, respectively, of the initial body weight of the individual.
Conclusion: Weight reduction was found to be a practical adjuvant treatment in the rehabilitation of patients with knee osteoarthritis.