Osteoarthritis is a common, chronic condition which requires an individualised management plan involving multiple kinds of treatment.
Exercise programs and the Arthritis
Self-Management Program reduce pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis.
Paracetamol is the most appropriate first-line analgesic.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used as second-line analgesia on an as-needed basis (including continuous use), but must be used with caution. Cyclo-oxygenase-2-specific inhibitors are used if there are risk factors for upper-gastrointestinal complications, but only after considering cardiovascular risk.
Glucosamine sulfate is a safe and effective over-the-counter treatment.
Intra-articular therapies are used when others have failed.
Contents: Introduction — Non-pharmacological management — Education and behavioural intervention — Weight loss — Exercise — Mechanical aids — Pharmacological management — Systemic drugs — Intra-articular injection — Topical analgesia — Management of osteoarthritis of the hip — Surgical treatment — Conclusion — Competing interests — References — Author details
Medical management of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joints
Rebecca Grainger and Flavia M Cicuttini
MJA 2004; 180 (5): 232-236