Osteoarthritis: Its course in older patients and current treatment methods
Treatment of osteoarthritis is tailored to a patient's symptoms and functional ability. Patients with mild OA may be managed with nonopioid pain medications such as acetaminophen, physical therapy, and nonpharmacologic therapies. The use of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors is the next step, but benefits must be weighed carefully against the risks of GI events, renal side effects, and cardiovascular implications in individual patients. Patients with severe pain and disability may benefit from evaluation for surgical treatments. Arthroscopic debridement in patients with OA who are unresponsive to treatment cannot be routinely recommended and needs further studies to define its role in OA management.
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