Excess Body Weight Loss Is Associated With Nonpathological Gait Patterns in Women 4 to 5 Years After Bariatric Surgery

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Background: This study examined relationships between excess body weight (EBW) loss and current gait and functional status in women 5 years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Methods: Gait data were analyzed in nine female bariatric patients for relationships with longitudinal changes in weight, body composition, and physical function assessed by the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (SMFA) questionnaire and the timed "get-up-and- go" (TGUG) test. Gait characteristics in the bariatric sample were also compared to an age- and BMI-matched nonsurgical reference sample from the Fels Longitudinal Study. Results: Bariatric patients lost an average of 36.4 kg (61.1 %) of EBW between preoperative and 5-year follow-up visits (P < 0.01); SMFA function index scores and TGUG times also decreased (both P < 0.01). Degree of EBW loss was correlated with less time spent in initial double support and more time in single support (both P = 0.02), and for all gait variables, the bariatric sample fell within the 95 % confidence intervals of gait/EBW relationships in the reference sample. Conclusions: Gait and function 5 years after bariatric surgery were characteristic of current weight, not preoperative obesity, suggesting that substantial, sustained recovery of physical function is possible with rapid surgical weight loss. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.



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