Which Nonsurgical Treatments Do Patients Believe Are Most Effective for Hip and Knee Arthritis?

Cindy R. Nahhas, Brian C. Fuller, Charles P. Hannon, Tad L. Gerlinger, Denis Nam, Craig J. Della Valle

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Background:The purpose of this study was to determine which nonsurgical treatments patients believe are most effective for managing pain secondary to hip and knee arthritis.Methods:Five hundred sixty-five consecutive patients were administered an anonymous questionnaire developed in consultation with a center with expertise in survey design. Statistical analyses included Student t-test, Fisher Exact, Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, and generalized cost-effectiveness analysis.Results:Four hundred thirty-six patients completed the questionnaire (response rate 77.2%). Opioids (52 of 118; 44.1%), prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (67 of 200; 33.5%), and corticosteroid injections (87 of 260; 33.5%) were reported as most effective. Stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injections were selected by three of 12 (25.0%) and three of 15 patients (19.5%), respectively, and physical therapy (PT) by 50 of 257 patients (19.5%). Twenty-five percent of respondents received opioids, commonly prescribed by primary care providers (48.2%) and orthopaedic surgeons (39.5%). Opioid use correlated with lower patient-reported effectiveness of PT, NSAIDs, and corticosteroid injections (P < 0.05). The highest cost-effectiveness ratios were NSAIDs, opioids, and acetaminophen (2.2, 3.7, 4.0, and 5.4, respectively). The lowest cost-effectiveness ratios were stem cell injections, platelet-rich plasma injections, and PT (1966.7, 520.8, and 138.6, respectively).Conclusions:The nonsurgical treatments that are reported by patients to be most effective are oftentimes the least expensive.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20.00046
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


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