A new clinical care standard for the treatment for knee OA has been released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care earlier this year. The standard states surgery should be a last resort for knee OA and exercise, weight loss and the use of pain relieving medication should be the gold standard treatment.
Knee Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage lining the joint begins to wear and the joint space begins to narrow. It can cause pain and disability making daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs and squatting difficult. Patients who are overweight have double the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, and obese patients have four times the risk.
Osteoarthritis affects about 2.1 million Australians and costs nearly $1.8 billion per year. Knee osteoarthritis is common particularly in over 45 year olds.
The ACSQHC has recommended a thorough assessment and clear diagnosis by your health professional without the need for an Xray or MRI. From this your health professional will develop a tailored program including education, exercises and weight loss guidelines to assist in the reduction of pain and disability. Only if conservative management has failed to improve your symptoms is surgery recommended.
The Commission’s Clinical Director Dr Robert Herkes said “it is crucial that clinicians provide patient education and help patients with knee osteoarthritis develop a tailored self-management plan to set realistic goals for reducing pain and to improve their participation in day-to-day activities.”
Our team at Physio On Miller can develop an exercise program and self-management program to assist in your knee OA.