An excess amount of weight is linked to more than 60 medical conditions and is estimated to reduce average life expectancy by as many as seven years.1 Not only does a high BMI increase your risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions, but research also points to obesity as a root cause of many musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.2 In fact, overweight and obese individuals are presenting to orthopedic practices for MSK conditions at such high frequencies that a crisis of Orthobesity™ is on the rise.
Fortunately, most of these issues can be improved and even eliminated through lifestyle change and weight loss. Below are 5 orthopedic issues that can be improved by weight loss.
1. Knee, hip, ankle, and back injuries.
- The odds of sustaining injuries of all types, including sprains/strains, lower extremity fractures, and joint dislocations, are 15% greater if you’re overweight and 48% greater for people with Class III obesity.1
2. Pressure on the knee joint
- Every pound of weight lost alleviates about 4 pounds of pressure on your knee joint. This can greatly reduce your risk of knee problems and joint pain.3
3. Pressure on the lower back
- Excess weight contributes to even more pressure on your lower back. Each extra pound of weight causes 10 pounds of pressure on the lower back.4
4. Osteoarthritis of the knee
- A statement from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons found that obese individuals are 20 times more likely to require total knee replacement surgery than non-obese patients.5
5. Surgery complications
- Being overweight increases the risk of wound infection, poor wound healing, difficulty breathing, blood clots, pulmonary embolism (PE), and other post-surgery complications.6
Excess weight increases the risk and severity of all types of MSK issues, but there is a solution. By making gradual changes to diet, physical activity, and lifestyle, you can begin to lose weight to reduce pain, improve mobility, and better prepare for and recover from orthopedic surgery. The benefits of weight loss on your health are clear, so there’s no time to wait to lose weight.
Prescribe FIT is a virtual lifestyle health solution that partners with your orthopedic physician to help you improve your musculoskeletal (MSK) health, reduce symptoms of pain, and enhance your quality of life. By focusing on root cause medicine and whole person health, we transform our patients’ lives by transforming their lifestyles.