• 3 Links between Obesity and Orthopaedic Health

    Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater are considered obese, which places them at a higher risk of many health complications. These include orthopaedic conditions. Orthopaedic conditions are injuries or diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, and muscles. For example, when a person is obese, he or she has a higher risk of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries. A third link between obesity and orthopaedic health involves surgery. An orthopaedic surgeon may recommend weight loss before an individual undergoes surgery.

    Identifying Obesity-Related Orthopaedic Conditions

    The symptoms of osteoarthritis tend to develop slowly over time. They typically involve joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness, along with loss of flexibility and a grating sensation with movement. Bone spurs may develop around the joint. Obesity can contribute to osteoarthritis development because it adds stress to the weight-bearing joints. Additionally, excess fat tissues can contribute to inflammation of the joints. The symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries can vary, depending on the specific type of injury. If obesity is a contributing factor of the injury because of excessive stress on the joint, then the injury is likely to affect the lower body. The symptoms may include pain, muscle twitching, and fatigue. The third link between obesity and orthopaedic conditions is the higher potential for surgical complications. Individuals who are obese may be more likely to develop surgical complications such as nerve injury and wound infection. They may also have a longer recovery time due to poor overall health.

    Evaluating Treatment Options

    Without proper treatment, an obese patient with osteoarthritis can expect the symptoms to worsen over time. A musculoskeletal injury may not heal properly. For example, an ankle sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability. Patients may decide not to undergo elective orthopaedic surgery due to potential complications of obesity. An orthopaedic doctor can recommend treatment options, such as medications and physical therapy for osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries. Weight loss may also be recommended, particularly for patients who are anticipating orthopaedic surgery.

    Patients who suffer from obesity-related health problems can turn to an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet for guidance. At MK Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic doctor diagnoses and treats patients with osteoarthritis, and injuries such as a meniscus tear or sports injury. Call us at (815) 741-6900 to schedule an appointment with our orthopaedic specialists.