The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Joint distraction for knee osteoarthritis without alignment correction, in July 2015.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is the result of progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage and menisci of the joint. Articular cartilage deteriorates because of injury, or wear and tear. This leads to exposure of the bone surface. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty walking.
Treatment for knee osteoarthritis depends on the severity of the disease. Conservative treatments include analgesics and corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation, and physiotherapy and prescribed exercise to improve function and mobility. When symptoms are severe, surgery may be indicated. Options include upper tibial osteotomy, microfracture surgery, and unicompartmental or total knee replacement.
The OPCS-4 codes for Joint distraction for knee osteoarthritis without alignment correction are:
W30.1 Application of external fixation to bone NEC
In addition the ICD-10 code M17.9 Gonarthrosis, unspecified would be recorded.
M17.9 Gonarthrosis, unspecified
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
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.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.
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.