Conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis


knee osteoarthritis; conservative; weight reduction; physical therapy; placebo; pharmacology; education; self-management.

Published online: Feb 13 2021

Charlotte Allaeys, Nele Arnout, Stefaan Van Onsem, Kris Govaers, Jan Victor

From the Ghent University, Belgium


Osteoarthritis of the knee causes chronic knee pain, loss of function and disability in the ageing population. When no treatment is applied, a guaranteed onset of symptoms and/or structural damage can be observed in the diseased knee. This work reviewed the different published guidelines, proposing combinations of weight reduction, physical therapy and rehabilitation, self-management education programs and pharmacological treatment. Randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews and guidelines were identified using the databases PubMed and Web of Science. Specific journals and reference lists were investigated. Sixty high quality articles were included concerning the conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Weight loss when BMI > 28kg/m 2 ; aerobic, proprioception and strengthening training; NSAIDs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, aceclofenac), IA corticosteroid and IA hyaluronic acid has the highest evidence. To achieve the greatest positive clinical and structural outcome, a combined conservative therapy is recommended.