Osteoarthritis is a common progressive disease leading to joint pain and severe disability. It is a complex multifactorial disease leading to damage of cartilage, deposition of subchondral bone matrix and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Obesity is an emerging epidemic and also an important risk factor for osteoarthritis. Weight loss has been shown to improve pain and function in hip and knee joints with osteoarthritis. Bariatric surgery currently is the only evidence-based approach to marked weight loss in obese individuals. However, there is currently limited literature to evaluate the role of bariatric surgery in hip and knee osteoarthritis. The objective of the present study was to systematically review the literature regarding the effectiveness of bariatric surgery in obese adult patients in improving large weight-bearing joint (hip and knee) osteoarthritis. Published English-language manuscripts were considered for review inclusion. A comprehensive search of electronic databases using broad search terms was completed. From a total of 400 articles, eight articles were identified. A total of six studies were included for qualitative analysis. A general trend was identified indicating improved hip and knee osteoarthritis following marked weight loss secondary to bariatric surgery. This systematic review demonstrates that bariatric surgery may benefit obese patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis. However, this review identifies the need for randomized controlled trials to clarify the role and indications for bariatric surgery.
© 2011 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2011 International Association for the Study of Obesity.