Study examines care for knee osteoarthritis in the United States

A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research provides an overview of U.S. physicians' recommendations for physical therapy, lifestyle counseling, pain medications for treating knee osteoarthritis.

The study examined 2,297 physician visits for knee osteoarthritis from a National Database. For visits to orthopedists, physical therapy and lifestyle recommendation rates declined from 2007 to 2015, while prescriptions for and narcotics (or opioids) increased. Among visits to , there were no significant changes in rates of and lifestyle recommendation or narcotics prescriptions, while prescriptions for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increased.

"Our major takeaway from this research is that patients might not be receiving optimum care for knee osteoarthritis. Physicians seem more focused on helping their patients manage their pain with medications, but it is also important to consider the long-term benefits of exercise for mitigating declines in ," said lead author Samannaaz Khoja, PT, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences' Department of Physical Therapy.

"Despite being part of clinical practice guidelines, exercise-based interventions are still being prescribed at a very low rate. More research is needed to determine barriers to prescribing exercise." Dr. Khaja noted that although the observed increase in non-narcotic medication would be expected as part of standard treatment protocols, the rise in narcotic prescriptions is concerning and warrants attention.


Explore further

UM physical therapy professor authors new guideline on treating runner's knee

More information: Samannaaz S. Khoja et al, Recommendation Rates for Physical Therapy, Lifestyle Counseling and Pain Medications for Managing Knee Osteoarthritis in Ambulatory Care Settings. Cross‐sectional Analysis of the National Ambulatory Care Survey (2007‐2015), Arthritis Care & Research (2019). DOI: 10.1002/acr.24064
Journal information: Arthritis Care & Research

Provided by Wiley
Citation: Study examines care for knee osteoarthritis in the United States (2019, October 9) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-knee-osteoarthritis-states.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more