Treatment OA Knee

Posted by Helen Potter on 20 June 2017 | Filed under Pain, Physiotherapy

The problem of OA knee treatment

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common musculoskeletal disease.  It affects over 10 percent of the adult population and is a leading cause of disability. It is also on a burden on teh person and on the community. Unfortunately, people with OA Knee are spending millions of dollars on wasted treatments each year. Surgery is very effective for end-stage arthritis but there are many alternatives before this step.

What doesn’t work for OA knee?

Many people with OA knee are getting treatments that don’t work well, are harmful or both.

The following are not recommended:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements
  • Hyaluronic acid injections not recommended (Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
  • Surgery is suitable only for end-stage OA Knee
  • Research does not support the use of steroid injections, knee braces, special insoles and other opioid drugs.
  • Arthroscopy debridement
  • MRI

What Really Helps Knee OA?

“Only these treatments studied have a recommendation for their use,” Journal of Arthroplasty.

  • Physiotherapy helps and is cost-effective. It should be tried before a knee replacement is performed
  • Exercise can help, too, if it doesn’t strain the knee, eg swimming and cycling
  • Physiotherapists use specific core muscle control of the hips, feet and knees
  • Weight loss does work (even 5-10% is helpful)
  • Ice helps ease pain and inflammation
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen and naproxen)
  • The opioid painkiller tramadol

At least one study has found that

surgery is no better than medication and physical therapy

for relieving the pain and stiffness of moderate or severe arthritis.

Routine Monitoring os signs (physical assessment) and symptoms (persons reported)  are improtant so that person-centred care can be delivered. Accurate and effective care needs to be accessible for everybody

Original article by MAGGIE FOX (modified by Helen Potter FACP).

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