Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic debilitating disease affecting over 30 million Americans. Many health providers fall prey to believing it is a normal part of aging, leading to inadequate management. Recommendations from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) guidelines provide the nurse practitioner options for treating those with OA who are not undergoing surgical management. These interventions include weight loss, exercise, and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Although supported by evidence, these interventions are oftentimes not practiced in primary care. This article presents evidence-based interventions for the nonsurgical treatment of hip and knee OA from the AAOS, ACR, and OARSI guidelines.
Jessica Gourdine, MSN, APRN, A-GNP-C, MUSC College of Nursing, Charleston, SC.
The author has disclosed no conflicts of interest.