Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic disease and there is a need for treatments that can be provided for the course of the disease with minimal adverse side effects. Exercise is a safe intervention in patients with knee OA with few contraindications or adverse events. Obesity is the most modifiable risk factor for knee OA. The mechanisms by which obesity affects OA are of great concern to researchers and clinicians who manage this disease. This article reviews the physiologic and mechanical consequences of obesity and exercise on older adults with knee OA, the effects of long-term weight loss and exercise interventions, and the utility and feasibility of translating these results to clinical practice.
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