Nice | Osteoarthritis

17th February 2014 by Louise Hudman

This guideline from NICE is an update of their 2008 osteoarthritis one. There will be more coming soon on pharmacological treatments, so this is covering most of the other stuff. There is only 1 new thing for us, which is in diagnosis. There isn’t much else new, but as this is such a common condition, I’ll give a brief summary of the guideline.


There is no need for further investigation if OA is suspected, as long as all 3 of the following criteria are met:

  • Patient is > 45
  • No morning stiffness, or morning stiffness < 30 mins
  • Pain is related to activity

I suspect that most of us are already doing this, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. They do warn about ‘red-flags’ to watch for. Among other things, these include: pain that is unrelated to activity, pain that is worse at night, features of inflammatory arthritis and sudden worsening of pain.


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