21 Dec 2014

Why obesity lead to osteoarthritis ?

Obesity or overweight is a common problem in community. It will lead to a variety of health problem. One of the important health problem in obese individual is osteoarthritis. Three to six times body weight is transmitted across the knee during single-leg stance. Any increase in weight may be multiplied by this factor to reveal the excess force across the knee in overweight persons during walking. Obesity’s effect on the development and progression of disease is mediated mostly through the increased loading in weight-bearing joints that occurs in overweight persons. 

1. Obesity is closely associated with knee osteoarthritis,  in those who have body weight more than 50 per cent above their ideal body weight when compared to those people with ideal body weight. The risk is more in women than men Risk ratio is of  9.0 for women and  4.5 for men.
2. One of the interesting factor noticed is that obesity does not seem to be  a strong risk factor for  hip osteoarthritis, compared to knee osteoarthritis.
3. At the knee joint, obesity is a predisposing factor for development of disease than it follows knee osteoarthritis.
4. In some people osteoarthritis at knee may or may not be associated with symptoms, but it produce radiographic change.
5. Once the obese people develop knee osteoarthritis the painful knee also lead to sedentary lifestyle. The same thing happens with obesity.
6. For a given damage to knee joint obesity increases the pain. Obesity also increases the severity of disease.
7. Malalignment (varus/valgus knee alignment) increases the risk for osteoarthritis.

There are  two types of limb malalignment in knee joint in the frontal plane,
  1.Varus deformity in which the stress is placed across the medial compartment of the knee joint.
  2.Valgus deformity which places excess stress across the lateral compartment of the knee.

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