Joint pain has made the news recently with reports that Pope Francis is currently seeking treatment for knee pain. According to the National Catholic Reporter, the pontiff suffered a torn ligament in his knee. This injury has made it difficult for Pope Francis to keep to his busy schedule, forcing suspended appointments during the Easter season.
The article also reported that the pope’s doctors recommended weight loss as a means of relieving pain.
Weight Loss and Knee Pain
For many patients knee pain is a sign of Osteoarthritis (OA). OA affects over thirty million adults in the United States, and if left untreated could result in joint replacement surgery. Symptoms of OA include stiffness in the affected joint, swelling, pain, and difficulty in movement.
Studies have shown that weight loss, while not a cure for joint pain, can help reduce stress on joints in the lower body. Reduced weight not only relieves stress on joints that support the body, but it can also help prevent cartilage degeneration. When cartilage is damaged, it increases the risk of bones knocking together and causing severe pain. The lack of protection may also lead to fractures and other problems in the hips and legs.
+ Read more about how weight loss may slow degeneration of knee cartilage.
+ Learn about advanced techniques used in total joint replacement at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists, which helps patients recover faster.