Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant chronic disease and a common presentation in general practice. Over 50% of people over the age of 65 years have radiological evidence of disease and approximately 10% of men and 18% of women have symptomatic OA.1 Joint pain and reduced mobility cause considerable impact on quality of life. With no current cure for this condition, general practitioners are left with a range of management options aimed at optimising quality of life and self management, preventing acute episodes, delaying complications and preventing progression of the condition.
Osteoarthritis, characterised by joint pain and stiffness, is a
common and significant chronic disease, reducing mobility
and causing considerable impact on quality of life. Multiple
evidence based management options are available.
The aim of this article is to summarise the main
management options suggested in The Royal Australian
College of General Practitioners Guideline for the nonsurgical
management of hip and knee osteoarthritis and to
also highlight those that are not recommended.
Following diagnosis based primarily on history and
examination, management focuses on optimising quality
of life by providing self management advice combined
with appropriate pharmacological and nonpharmacological
strategies, aiming to reduce acute exacerbations, prevent
complications and delay progression.
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