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.
In December 2020 we reviewed our guidance on opioids for non-cancer pain in response to a Public Health England evidence review on dependence on, and withdrawal from, prescribed medicines. To support discussion with patients about opioid prescribing, and safe withdrawal management, we are developing guidance on safe prescribing and withdrawal management of prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal and shared decision making. In the meantime, we have added links in this guideline to other NICE guidelines and other resources that support this aim.
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
Is this guideline up to date?
We checked this guideline in August 2017 and plan to update the guideline.
See the guideline in development page for progress on the update.
Guideline development process
This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG59 (February 2008).
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services 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 complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.