Bariatric Procedures Help Alleviate Musculoskeletal Symptoms

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The latest study given to the World Congress of Osteoarthritis reveals that Bariatric Surgery influences more than just weight loss for patients. New information reveals the beneficial impact of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery on musculoskeletal symptoms.

A new study was presented to the World Congress of Osteoarthritis, containing positive new information about the effects of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, a bariatric surgical procedure. In the study, of 48 patients (47 women and one man) who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, 52% of patients saw complete resolution of musculoskeletal symptoms, both in weight-bearing and non-weight bearing sites, six months after surgery.

Dr. Michelle Hooper, of University Hospitals of Cleveland, evaluated 48 patients before and six months after laparoscopic or open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery. After the bariatric procedure, she reported that the percentage of patients with a variety of comorbid conditions decreased.

A before-and-after analysis of comorbid conditions revealed that hypertension(high blood pressure) decreased from 52% to 14%, sleep apnea from 46% to 14%, depression from 33% to 14%, type 2 diabetes and asthma both dropped from 30% to 7%.

Perhaps most significantly, Fibromyalgia, a disease characterized by diffuse and or specific muscle, joint, or bone pain, fatigue and a wide range of other symptoms, resolved in 90% of patients surveyed in the study. Dr. Hooper theorized that the dramatic resolution of fibromyalgia symptoms may be due to a decrease in other comorbid syndromes, particularly depression, and an increase in physical activity.

When asked for a reaction to the study, Dr. Gregg Jossart, a surgeon at Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, stated, "This confirms that weight loss surgery can effectively improve or cure many weight related musculoskeletal conditions. Most interesting is the 90% cure rate for fibromyalgia. This was simply unknown prior to this study. Bariatric surgery procedures like the Gastric bypass, LapBand, Duodenal Switch and Vertical Gastrectomy all offer the potential to improve or cure arthritis, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia and in many cases patients are able to avoid joint replacements."    

In addition to the symptom resolution described above, there were also decreases in the following pain symptoms: knee (75% to 44%), ankle/foot (46% to 8%), shoulder (40% to 27%), lumbar spine (38% to 15%), carpal tunnel syndrome (31% to 15%), hip joint (31% to 15%), trochanteric bursitis (29% to 17%), and epicondylitis (13% to 4%).

Dr. Hooper concluded by saying, “obesity is associated with a poor quality of life, which improves significantly after weight loss associated with gastric bypass surgery.”

About Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco:

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laparoscopic Associates is the only group in the Western United States to perform all weight-loss surgeries laparoscopically. They specialize in Lap Band Surgery, Vertical Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Surgery, and the Duodenal Switch.

More information about weight-loss surgery can be found on LAPSF’s Website,, or by contacting Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, 2100 Webster Street, Suite 518, San Francisco, CA 94115, phone: 415-561-1310, fax: 415-561-1731.

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