Author | Richard F. Loeser, MD

Articles

Osteoarthritis: 20 Clinical pearls

September 30, 2008

ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of chronicdisability in older adults. A multitude of factors can contribute to thedisease process. Only a portion of patients who have radiographicevidence of OA have associated pain. Several conditions can mimicOA. Laboratory tests often contribute little to the diagnosis.Treatmentshould be tailored to individual patients. Exercises and joint protectiontechniques are the mainstays of treatment. Patient educationmay be beneficial. Acetaminophen and NSAIDs are effective in manypatients. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are associated with improvedGI tolerability. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may produceimprovements in pain and function and may be associated with adecrease in the radiographic progression of OA. Corticosteroids canprovide symptomatic relief. Surgery is an option for advanceddisease. (J Musculoskel Med. 2008;25:476-480)