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Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis

About this guideline

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) first developed Guidelines for the non-surgical management of hip and knee osteoarthritis in 2009. Since then, there has been substantial progress in evaluating the effectiveness and safety of commonly used and new therapies for osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this new guideline is to present the best available, current scientific evidence for OA interventions, covering all interventions other than joint replacement for the hip and knee.

The development of the Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis is funded in part by Medibank Better Health Foundation.

This guideline applies to all adults diagnosed with symptomatic OA of the hip and/or knee up until referral for joint replacement. While this guideline is intended primarily for use in the primary care setting by general practitioners (GPs), consideration of the relevance of this guideline was also given to other health professionals who treat people with OA. This is reflected in the multidisciplinary composition of the guideline development working group, including consumer representatives.

The guideline recommendations on pages 5–12 of this document were approved by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on 9 July 2018 under section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992. In approving the guideline recommendations, NHMRC considers that they meet the NHMRC standard for clinical practice guidelines. This approval is valid for a period of five years.

NHMRC is satisfied that the guideline recommendations are systematically derived, based on the identification and synthesis of the best available scientific evidence, and developed for health professionals practising in an Australian healthcare setting.

This publication reflects the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the Australian Government.

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This guideline will be reviewed no less than once every five years.

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