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General principles for osteoarthritis treatment

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Treatment of OA is aimed at the reduction of pain, caused by a variety of the pathological processes going on - inflammation, debris, venous stasis, capsular or muscle stretch, etc.

Treatment options are dependent on whether the condition is early, late or intermediate:

Early OA:

  • pain relief
  • improvement of joint mobility
  • load reduction, e.g. walking stick, weight loss etc.

Intermediate OA:

  • realignment osteotomy for younger patients

Late OA:

  • unremitting pain and progressive disability are indications for radical surgery
  • arthroplasty may be indicated for patients over 60 years. An arthroplasty may not be appropriate for a younger patient because the physical demands placed on an affected joint are likely to be greater and the arthroplasty may fail after a few years

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