Knee Osteoarthritis – what’s the latest?

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reviewed the guidelines regarding treatment of Osteoarthritic (OA) knees  in September 2013. A brief summery of their conclusions is outlined below regarding conservative treatment options. They have rated there recommendations based on the strength of the scientific evidence they reviewed.
  • Exercise – there is strong evidence that patients with symptomatic OA knees should participate in “self management programs, strengthening, low-impact aerobic exercises, and neuromuscular education”
  • Weight loss – there is moderate evidence that weight loss should be recommended to those with symptomatic OA knees if their BMI>_25
  • Acupuncture – there is strong evidence against recommending the use acupuncture in those with symptomatic OA knees
  • Physical agents – there is inconclusive evidence as the use of physical agents such as electrotherapy in those with symptomatic OA knees
  • Manual therapy – the evidence is inconclusive for or against using manual therapy in a symptomatic OA knee
  • Bracesinconclusive evidence for or against the use of braces that create a valgus direction force
  • Lateral wedge – there is moderate evidence against using a lateral wedge insert in shoes of patients with medial compartment knee OA
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin – there is strong evidence against recommending the use of either glucosamine or chondroitin in symptomatic OA knees
  • Medications – there is strong evidence for the prescription of NSAIDs (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) or Tramadol in symptomatic OA knees

So with all of this in mind, when you attend Active Steps Physiotherapy for your OA knee treatment will mainly focus on developing a suitable exercise program to improve the strength and function of your knee, and depending upon the acuteness of your symptoms may involve some manual therapy.