Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common age-related joint disease affecting >80% people beyond 55 years of age. It is a leading cause of elderly visit to outpatient departments and accounts for almost half of all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug prescriptions. The burden and impact of knee OA in Indian population and extent of public health services usage by people with OA are not known.Methods:
We performed a prospective blinded multicenter screening and therapeutic study from June 2013 to June 2014 at 3 centers to screen patients >55 years with knee OA to assess quality of life, functional disability, and limitation of functions and to compare the effectiveness of hip and leg strengthening exercise programs in these patients. Functional disability was assessed by Western Ontario and McMaster’s Universities OA index (WOMAC), Friedman, and Wyman Scores; locomotor function was assessed by walking status, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and 30-second timed chair stand tests; and quality of life was assessed by Short Form-36 (SF-36).Results:
Of 2854 patients screened, 2054 (72%) patients had OA (male:female-1.9:1) with mean age of 63 years and standard deviation of 8. Of 2054 patients, 226 patients were randomly selected for therapeutic study. In remaining 1828 patients, baseline 10-meter walk test (10MWT) was 0.3 m/s, mean SF-36 Physical Component Score (PCS) was 31.3, and Mental Component Score (MCS) was 34.2. At 3 months, 79% patients were comfortable with significant VAS, WOMAC, Friedman-Wyman Scores, 10MWT, and timed chair test improvements in patients who performed lifestyle modifications and exercises (P = .04). Short Form-36 improved, mean PCS was 43.6, and MCS was 54.2. At 3 months, 274 (15%) patients were unsatisfied among whom 26% and 74% were treated with arthroscopic procedures and arthroplasty, respectively. Isolated hip and leg strengthening exercise programs similarly improved knee pain, function, and quality of life.Conclusion:
Motivation and counseling with hip and leg strengthening exercises should be incorporated with pharmacotherapy in each OA prescription. Physical fitness and weight reduction should be promoted as first-line management of OA.