10:37 AM

5 Questions About Therapeutic Targets in Osteoarthritis Management

Rheumatology Consultant conducts a Q&A with Lisa A. Mandl, MD, MPH, rheumatologist at HSS, on therapeutic targets in osteoarthritis (OA) management.

Management strategies for OA have changed over time from more traditional approaches of pain control to interventions that can also improve functional activity and quality of life.

According to Dr. Mandl, the main goal is to improve mobility. "We should be engaged with our patients and partner with them to find the best nonpharmacologic plan."

Dr. Mandl references recent research in the field and points out that OA is not just a disease of cartilage but of the whole joint. "Therefore, it is important for patients to engage in physical therapy because the muscles that surround the knee joint can act like a splint and help stabilize their joint. This allows for less pain when a patient moves. We have to remember that all components of the joints are important, not just the cartilage."

Dr. Mandl also states that it's important for rheumatologists to remember that joint replacements can be extremely effective for the right patient. "It can take patients, especially women, a long time to decide if this operation is right for them. It is often helpful to let patients know that a joint replacement is a potential therapeutic option earlier rather than later so patients are aware this could be something down the road if they ever need it."

Read the full article at Consultant360.com.