Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO) published a treatment algorithm for the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in 2014, which provides practical guidance for the prioritization of interventions. Further analysis of real-world data for OA provides additional evidence in support of pharmacological interventions, in terms of management of OA pain and function, avoidance of adverse events, disease-modifying effects and long-term outcomes, e.g., delay of total joint replacement surgery, and pharmacoeconomic factors such as reduction in healthcare resource utilization. This article provides an updated assessment of the literature for selected interventions in OA, focusing on real-life data, with the aim of providing easy-to-follow advice on how to establish a treatment flow in patients with knee OA in primary care clinical practice, in support of the clinicians' individualized assessment of the patient. In step 1, background maintenance therapy with symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis (SYSADOAs) is recommended, for which high-quality evidence is provided only for the prescription formulations of patented crystalline glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Paracetamol may be added for rescue analgesia only, due to limited efficacy and increasing safety signals. Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may provide additional symptomatic treatment with the same degree of efficacy as oral NSAIDs without the systemic safety concerns. Oral NSAIDs maintain a central role in step 2 advanced management of persistent symptoms. However, oral NSAIDs are highly heterogeneous in terms of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety profile, and patient stratification with careful treatment selection is advocated to maximize the risk:benefit ratio. Intra-articular hyaluronic acid as a next step provides sustained clinical benefit with effects lasting up to 6 months after a short-course of weekly injections. As a last step before surgery, the slow titration of sustained-release tramadol, a weak opioid, affords sustained analgesia with improved tolerability.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.semarthrit.2015.11.010

Type

Journal article

Journal

Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism

Publication Date

02/2016

Volume

45

Pages

S3 - 11

Addresses

Support Unit in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics, University of Liège, CHU Sart Tilman, Liège 4000, Belgium. Electronic address: olivier.bruyere@ulg.ac.be.

Keywords

Humans, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Acetaminophen, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfates, Analgesics, Evidence-Based Medicine, Viscosupplements, Musculoskeletal Pain