Usage of guideline-adherent core treatments for knee osteoarthritis before and after consulting an orthopaedic surgeon: A prospective cohort study

Simon Majormoen Bruhn, Søren T Skou, Lasse Kindler Harris, Thomas Bandholm, Anne Møller, Henrik M Schrøder, Anders Troelsen, Lina Holm Ingelsrud

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe 1) the proportion of patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) undergoing guideline-adherent core treatments until six months after primary referral to an orthopaedic surgeon, 2) which specific treatment pathways these patients undertake and 3) the characteristics of patients choosing different treatment pathways.

DESIGN: This prospective cohort study consecutively invited patients referred to an orthopaedic surgeon due to knee OA at two Danish hospitals from October 2018 to December 2020. Before and six months after consulting the surgeon, patients answered a questionnaire reporting which treatments they had received for knee OA. The proportion receiving the combination of guideline-adherent treatments (i.e., exercise, education, and dietary weight management if needed) was determined. We evaluated the specific treatment usage before and until six months after the consultation and investigated characteristics of patients undertaking different pathways.

RESULTS: Out of 5251 eligible patients, 2574 (49%) had complete data and were included in analyses. 23% received guideline-adherent treatments, 10% had no treatment. Patients underwent 1143 unique treatment pathways, 62% including treatments not recommended/recommended against. Those who underwent guideline-adherent pathways had similar characteristics to those who did not but tended to be females, retired, had longer-lasting knee problems, have comorbidities, and higher education levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Only one in four patients with knee OA received treatment adhering to clinical guidelines before and six months after consulting the surgeon. Patients used many different treatment pathways. There is a need for a structured effort to increase the use of guideline-adherent core treatments.

TRIAL IDENTIFIERS: Registration: NCT03746184, Protocol: PMID: 34233992.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100411
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage Open
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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