This guideline covers assessing and managing osteoarthritis in adults. It covers both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. It promotes effective treatment options to control joint pain and improve function in people with osteoarthritis.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- education and self-management
- non-pharmacological management
- pharmacological management
- referral for joint surgery
- follow-up and review
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Adults with osteoarthritis and their families and carers
Guideline development process
This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG59 (February 2008).
This guideline update of this guideline update was originally going to include recommendations on the use of paracetamol, etoricoxib, fixed-dose combinations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and gastroprotective agents in the management of osteoarthritis. NICE intends to commission a full review of evidence on the pharmacological management of osteoarthritis once an ongoing review by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the safety of over-the-counter analgesics is completed.
Next review: 2018
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.