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Archive for August 1st, 2010

This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.



Recommendation XX

The use of weak opioids and narcotic analgesics can be considered for the treatment of refractory pain in patients with hip or knee OA, where other pharmacological agents have been ineffective, or contraindicated.

9 out of 9 existing treatment guidelines recommend the use of opioid analgesics for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis.  Weak opioids were shown to have a moderate effect on pain relief in 18 randomized controlled trials involving 3244 patients.

There have been no long term trials on using opioids in treating patients with knee osteoarthritis.  Addiction is the primary reason for this, and addiction is a major concern when taking narcotics and or opioids.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 82%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162