Most patients with osteoarthritis seek medical attention because of pain. The safest initial approach is to use a simple oral analgesic such as acetaminophen (perhaps in conjunction with topical therapy). If pain relief is inadequate, oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid-like products should be considered. Intra- articular corticosteroid injections may provide short-term pain relief in disease flares. Alleviation of pain does not alter the underlying disease. Attention must also be given to nonpharmacologic measures such as patient education, weight loss and exercise. Relief of pain and restoration of function can be achieved in some patients with early osteoarthritis, particularly if an integrated approach is used. Patients with advanced disease may eventually require surgery, which generally provides excellent results.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Family Physician|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2000|
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