What are the approaches to treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee?

There are multiple treatment approaches for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

osteoarthritis-knee-2The most important to start with is weight loss and patient education.  Without these, other therapies won’t work.

Analgesics such as acetaminophen may work for mild disease and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS) can be used for more symptomatic disease. The use of the latter category of drug needs to be tempered with the knowledge that potential gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side-effects are associated with these medicines.  Topical NSAIDS may be safer.

Alternative therapies such ass glucosamine/chondroitin, acupuncture, and so on, serve a complementary role.

Exercise and physical therapy, and, if necessary, braces, orthotics, and other assistive devices may be helpful.

Injections of glucocorticoids and viscosupplements can provide significant palliative relief.

Guided mesenchymal stem cell layering is a technique that can provide symptomatic relief, potentially regrow cartilage, and delay the need for surgery.

Total knee replacement is to be considered for patients with end-stage disease.

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