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How Obesity Affects Joint Health and How Bariatric Surgery May Help


Obesity affects many aspects of your life; however, joint health is one of the most problematic. Extra weight on your joints can cause pain and even affect your mobility in the long run. It’s important to understand the impact on your body and understand options like bariatric surgery.

How Obesity Affects Your Joints

Extra weight can damage your joints, and each extra pound applies four to six extra pounds of pressure on your knees. This only compounds with other problems obesity may cause. Pain and inflammation are common signs that your joints are suffering. Some of the major ways obesity affects your joints include tissue damage, tendonitis, and irreversible damage. 

Tissue Damage

Soft tissue damage and osteoarthritis are common due to pressure on the joints. This damage can weaken the joints and cause intense pain over time. 


Extra weight can put pressure on the tendons and make them inflamed, eventually leading to tendonitis. Tendonitis is often very painful, but you can alleviate it by losing the excess weight. 

Irreversible Damage

A higher number of fat cells, or adipocytes, can break down tissue and cause permanent damage. To avoid permanently damaging your joints, weight loss is critical. 

Alongside joint problems, obesity leads to a higher chance of diabetes and heart problems. Fortunately, you can prevent many of these problems with proper health treatments like bariatric surgery.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery for joint pain can help take the pressure off your joints and improve your mobility. There are several options for qualifying surgery patients including a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass. The main goal is to reduce the stomach size so hunger is mitigated, and you can lose weight with a proper diet and exercise routine. 

Patients can lose 50 to 70% of excess body weight, which can ultimately solve joint pain. Less inflammation-promoting chemicals are released in the body and the joints no longer have the pressure of extra weight. 

Patients are eligible if they have a BMI of over 40 and are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. Although the surgery provides fast results, after-surgery care is just as important to the overall success of the procedure, so patients must be willing to put in continued work.

Contact Lenox Hill Bariatrics to learn more about the surgery and start your health journey with highly trained professionals.