Weighing nonsurgical treatment options for knee osteoarthritis pain

Weighing nonsurgical treatment options for knee osteoarthritis pain

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Sept. 19, 2017)—Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive “wear and tear” disease of the joint. Osteoarthritis of the knee (knee OA) may not be totally preventable but according to Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, there are some key factors that we can control to minimize the chances of developing bone and joint pain. So, what’s the best treatment option for those who already have knee OA? Dr. Matzkin explains her study’s findings published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
 
“Patients with symptomatic knee OA who received an intra-articular corticosteroid injection demonstrated improvement in pain, stiffness and function for up to six months,” says Dr. Matzkin. Intra-articular corticosteroid injection—a steroid injection into a joint to reduce painful swelling—could provide effective short-term relief and improve function for patients who are not ready or able to undergo surgical treatment.
 
While knee OA is complex and often secondary to many other factors, Dr. Matzkin says there are some factors we can control to help prevent and minimize the symptoms of the disease: In this study:

This study evaluated the effectiveness of intra-articular corticosteroid injections as an acceptable short-term nonsurgical management option for patients seeking to improve pain and function. The findings complement the AAOS Guidelines on the Treatment of Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee, and does not advocate this option for long-term management of knee OA pain.
 
For people experiencing knee problems, work closely with your physician and orthopaedic surgeon to develop the best course of treatment for you.
 
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Disclosures
From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA (Dr. Matzkin), the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston (Ms. Curry and Dr. Smith), and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston (Dr. Kong, Dr. Rogers, and Dr. Henry).
 
J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2017;00:1-12 DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-16-00541