Management of Osteoarthritis

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PurposeTo r eview the classification, epidemiology, pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and medical management of osteoarthritis.Data SourcesSelected studies, review articles, rheumatology primers, and clinical practice guidelines.ConclusionsOsteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and the second most common cause of long-term disability among adults in the United States. It is a heterogeneous condition causing pathogenic changes that are presum-ably irreversible; it should not be considered part of “normal aging.”Implications for PracticeMedical management of OA includes various treatment modalities and should be based on the distribution and severity of joint involve-ment, as well as the presence of comorbid con-ditions. Treatment goals include decreasing stress on involved joints, limiting physical dis-ability, maintaining or improving function, reducing pain, and avoiding drug toxicity.

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