Does Weight-Loss Surgery Lead To Broken Bones?

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Does Weight-Loss Surgery Lead To Broken Bones? featured image

When considering bariatric surgery, it’s hard to ignore its numerous health benefits. However, you should also know that it has several short- and long-term post-op risks, which, according to recent research, includes a significantly high likelihood of fracture.

In a Mayo Clinic study, a research team investigated the fracture rate of about 100 patients-more than 80 were women with an average age of 44-most of whom had undergone gastric bypass (10% underwent a different kind of weight-loss surgery). When compared to non-patients of the same age and gender, the researchers identified an overall 80% increase in fracture risk.

Specific body parts are especially prone to fractures after weight-loss surgery, with foot fracture risk increasing fourfold, and hand fracture risk increasing threefold. Arm, wrist, hip and spine fracture risk increases 40%-much less than hands and feet, but still much more than those who have not undergone this kind of operation.

“It is currently unclear why fractures are more common after bariatric surgery, especially at the hand and foot,” study co-author Dr. Jackie Clowes said, citing a need for more research. “Although aggressive calcium and vitamin D supplementation after (bariatric) surgery may well help, it may still be insufficient to prevent the increased risk of fracture.”

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