Hip and knee osteoarthritis - how do we manage these?

Approximately 1 in 5 adults over 45 years in England have osteoarthritis of the knee, and 1 in 9 adults have osteoarthritis of the hip. There are a number of risk factors, which include:-

# increasing with age

# female sex

# genetic factors

# previous joint injury

# obesity

Exercise and manual therapy is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the conservative management of osteoarthritis, with particular focus on the knee and hip. Exercise should consist of local muscle strengthening and general aerobic fitness. Manipulation and stretching should be considered as an adjunct to core treatments. If overweight, then weight management techniques should be offered to lessen the load on the affected area. Ice and heat therapy could be helpful to reduce inflammation, pain, and help with joint mobility.

If there are marked degenerative changes, and daily function is severely limited, then joint replacement should be discussed to improve their quality of life.