- May 14, 2016
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- Posted by: admin
Although there is strong evidence that obesity predisposes to degenerative spine conditions, questions exist whether weight loss can decrease symptoms of degenerative spine disease.
Bariatric surgery is a well-accepted treatment for weight loss in the morbidly obese. Known benefits of bariatric surgery include decrease in severity or complete remission of obstructive sleep apnea, decrease in symptoms of asthma, a decrease in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and significant improvement in diabetes. These benefits extend to degenerative musculoskeletal disease.
There is moderate evidence that weight loss through bariatric surgery can decrease degenerative spine complaints. Hooper et al. prospectively studied 48 patients who underwent bariatric surgery for weight loss. They observed a 90% decrease in lumbar spine complaints and 83% decrease in cervical spine complaints in patients who lost weight after bariatric surgery. Vincent et al. confirmed these findings in a prospective study of 25 patients undergoing weight loss surgery. They observed a 54% decrease in the severity of low back pain after surgery. Lidar et al. prospectively studied another 30 morbidly obese patients undergoing weight loss surgery. They found that patients had a significant improvement in axial and radicular back pain. In addition, Lidar et al. found a significant increase in disc height radiographically after bariatric weight-loss surgery.