This study sought to develop concise, up-to-date, patient-focused, evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA), intended to inform patients, physicians, and allied healthcare professionals worldwide. Appropriate treatment modalities for all individuals with knee OA included biomechanical interventions, intra-articular corticosteroids, exercise (land-based and water-based), self-management and education, strength training, and weight management. Treatments appropriate for specific clinical sub-phenotypes included acetaminophen (paracetamol), balneotherapy, capsaicin, cane (walking stick), duloxetine, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; COX-2 selective and non-selective), and topical NSAIDs. Treatments of uncertain appropriateness for specific clinical sub-phenotypes included acupuncture, avocado soybean unsaponfiables, chondroitin, crutches, diacerein, glucosamine, intra-articular hyaluronic acid, opioids (oral and transdermal), rosehip, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound. Treatments voted not appropriate included risedronate and electrotherapy (neuromuscular electrical stimulation).
These evidence-based consensus recommendations offer guidance to patients and practitioners on treatments that apply to all individuals with knee OA, in addition to therapies that can be considered according to individualized patient needs and preferences.