• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Acetaminophen still first line of defense against osteoarthritis

Article

When testing for osteoarthritis in the knee, be sure to take a standing radiograph, said David E.J. Bazzo, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

When testing for osteoarthritis in the knee, be sure to take a standing radiograph, said David E.J. Bazzo, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

Too often physicians order a lying-down knee radiograph, which doesn't make clear the amount of joint space diminishing in size, he said.

About 25% of all Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis in the country, and that figure jumps to 80% among people age 70 and older.

The goal of treating osteoarthritis is to reduce patients' pain, preserve the function of their joint, and reduce the progression of the condition.

OTC acetaminophen is the first line of defense against osteoarthritis. It sounds simple, Dr Bazzo said, but it really works as long as the patient maintains regularly scheduled doses of 3 grams per day. If the patient has no history of liver problems, it's possible for them to take 4 grams per day.

If the pain doesn't subside after 4, 6, or 8 weeks of acetaminophen, NSAIDs can be prescribed. However, these carry a greater risk of GI complications.

For patients with intermittent osteoarthritis who don't respond to conservative treatments, physicians should consider opioids.

Injections of corticosteroids are very effective, Dr Bazzo said, but he advised not to inject a patient in the same joint more than 3 times per year, at least 1 month apart.

Canes, walkers, and braces help prevent bone breaks, notably hips.

Exercise and stretching build up muscle strength that can ease pressure on joints.

Related Videos
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health