General Approach to Treatment

Treatment is individualized and should consider medical history, physical examination, radiographic findings, distribution and severity of joint involvement, and response to previous treatment. Comorbid diseases, concomitant medications, and allergies are integrated into a holistic treatment approach.

A comprehensive treatment algorithm for OA is given in Figure 58-2. Nonphar-macologic treatment is integral to achieving optimal outcomes in patients with OA. Pharmacologic therapy is used as an adjunctive measure to relieve pain; most treatments do not modify the disease course. Surgical intervention generally is reserved for patients with advanced disease complicated by unremitting pain or severely compromised function.

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