What were the results of an AHRQ assessment of treatments for knee osteoarthritis?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Several organizations have issued guidelines on the treatment of osteoarthrits (see Guidelines), with recommendations keyed to the affected joints (ie, hand, knee, hip). An assessment of several treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) determined the following [71] :

  • Home-based exercise programs and tai chi show short- to medium-term benefits for symptoms (primarily pain, function, and quality of life) but data on long-term benefits are lacking
  • Strength and resistance training, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation show mostly short-term benefits, whereas agility training shows both short- and long-term benefits.
  • Weight loss and general exercise programs show medium- and long-term benefits.
  • Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma, balneotherapy, and whole-body vibration show medium-term benefits.
  • Glucosamine-chondroitin and glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate alone show medium-term benefits with no long-term benefits for pain or function.

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