New Malden health experts warn of growing obesity
By adam_leone | Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 12:19
Surgeons based at New Malden's Nuffield Health hospitals are warning of rising obesity levels.
According to new figures, a quarter of people are suffering from knee and joint pain as a result.
A survey of 1600 workers aged 16-65 shows that long term knee pain is common among all age groups, with almost a quarter saying they have been living with pain for up to two years.
The figures show that acute knee pain is most prevalent in the over 55s.
More than one in ten people, across all age groups, said they had needed time off work in the past 12 months because of knee pain.
Mr Ronan Banim, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon said: "If levels of obesity continue to rise the number of people needing knee replacements is likely go through the roof."
"In clinics we are seeing knees that are literally being crushed by excess weight."
"This puts pressure on joints and can increase the long-term risk of osteoarthritis. Weight control, regular, careful, exercise and healthy eating are extremely important."
Surgeons say that 'under-diagnosis' is common for joint injuries, with GPs slow to refer patients to knee specialists for further investigation.
Surgeons also cite the trend in older people taking up rigorous exercise as a contributing factor in the rise in knee joint pain among the older population.
Dr Sarah Dauncey, Medical Director, at Nuffield Health in New Malden, said: "To minimise the potential risks of getting knee pain, people who are becoming more active should look at warm-ups."