Knee Osteoarthritis Assessment and Management
Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA) is a growing health concern. This degenerative and inflammatory condition can lead to chronic pain, loss of work, and disability. Delve into this course to start learning today and earn CNE credits at the same time!
The word arthritis denotes inflammation of the joint and the surrounding tissues. Initially considered a noninflammatory condition, knee osteoarthritis (KOA) results in joint structure alteration that points to the influence of inflammation and immunological consequences. In the United States, about one in every five adults is diagnosed with KOA. According to Lespasio and colleagues, most U.S. adults, age 65 or older have KOA (12.4 million), which consumes a substantial amount of healthcare resources. KOA incidence is on the rise, including among younger adults, with the prevalence increasing rapidly during midlife, according to Ackerman and colleagues. The increasing lifelong treatment costs of KOA and potential associated disabilities and job losses impose huge financial burdens on patients and families. Understanding the condition, its causes and risk factors, appropriate health assessments and physical examinations, and diagnostic tests can help nurses advocate for the best treatment, which can include pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic modalities, and interventional options such as intra-articular and extended-release steroids, and surgical options
Key Learning Outcomes
- Describe causes and risk factors of knee osteoarthritis (KOA), related health assessments, diagnostic tests that may be recommended by providers, and patient education needs.
- Discuss signs and symptoms of KOA and nonpharmacologic options for improved mobility and pain reduction.
- Identify pharmacologic options that providers may recommend to address KOA pain and inflammation.
Mary Variath, PhD, MSN, RN
Mary Variath was a nursing educator at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s authored book chapters on osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and osteomyelitis.