Postoperative arthropathy has been reported in patients undergoing jejunoileal bypass for morbid obesity. The true frequency of this complication, and its independence from preexisting joint disease and from osteomalacia have not been clearly established. Of 107 patients who had undergone jejunoileal bypass, and in whom osteomalacia had been excluded, 38 developed a distinctive arthropathy. This consisted of episodic polyarthralgia, and occasionally arthritis, affecting both large and small joints. The articular symptom complex was independent of other major postoperative complications and unrelated to metabolic disturbances consequent upon rapid weight reduction. Preoperative joint symptoms had a similar incidence in those who did and in those who did not subsequently develop the postoperative arthropathy. Reversal of the intestinal bypass was always associated with an immediate, complete, and permanent remission of arthropathic symptoms.
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