Managing osteoarthritis.

Management of osteoarthritis should be based on a combination of non-drug and drug treatments targeted towards prevention, modifying risk and disease progression. Obesity is the most important modifiable risk factor, so losing weight in addition to land- and water-based exercise and strength training is important. While paracetamol can be tried, guidelines recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as first-line treatment for osteoarthritis. If there are concerns about the adverse effects of oral treatment, particularly in older patients or those with comorbidities, topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used. Glucosamine does not appear to be any better than placebo for pain. Its effect on the structural progression of disease when taken alone or in combination with chondroitin is uncertain. Fish oil has not been found to reduce the structural progression of knee arthritis. Surgical interventions should be avoided in the first instance, with arthroscopic procedures not showing benefit over sham procedures or optimised physical and medical therapy. Joint replacement surgery should be considered for severe osteoarthritis.
AuthorsShirley P Yu, David J Hunter
JournalAustralian prescriber (Aust Prescr) Vol. 38 Issue 4 Pg. 115-9 (Aug 2015) ISSN: 0312-8008 [Print] Australia
PMID26648637 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)

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