7 recommendations for managing hip and knee osteoarthritis

Surgery gets the thumbs down and exercise a gold star in RACGP's updated guidance

Weight loss, exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy are in favour, while surgery, opioids and acupuncture are not, according to the latest GP guidelines on osteoarthritis.

In the first update since 2009, the RACGP guidance on managing knee and hip osteoarthritis has been designed to reflect the changing evidence in treatments.

Surgery and a number of alternative therapies should be avoided, but lifestyle interventions such as walking, weight loss and muscle strengthening get a tick of approval from the authors.

Key advice includes:

  1. Walking, muscle-strengthening and Tai Chi are strongly recommended for knee osteoarthritis to relieve symptoms and improve function, while stationary cycling and Hatha Yoga could also be considered.
  2. Non-drug treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, heat packs, mobility devices, massage and home-based transcutaneous electrical nerve