An AUC to help physicians treat patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee has recently been approved by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Board of Directors.
OA is a slowly progressing and degenerative disease that causes the joint cartilage to wear away.
In 2010, it was estimated that nearly 10 million adults had symptomatic OA of the knee, and risk factors of this condition can increase with age, especially in women. Genetics, high body mass, certain occupations or heredity also may increase one's risk of developing this disease. Typically, patients try non-arthroplasty options for many months or years, before considering a total joint replacement surgery.
"Physicians outside of orthopaedic surgery also can benefit from this tool," Dr. Heggenness added. "Knee pain is so common today and many patients might see their primary care doctor, rheumatologist or other physician for treatment, so we are hoping that other clinicians across medical disciplines familiarize themselves with this AUC and together we can help optimize patient care."
This web-based app is optimized to work on a wide range of devices, including Smartphones and tablets. It allows a clinician to select a variety of patient characteristics and, once submitted, receive appropriateness recommendations for each of the treatments covered by this AUC.
Treatment appropriateness is determined by three separate panels of clinicians who represent a variety of medical disciplines:
- The writing panel combined clinical expertise with evidence-based information from the AAOS Evidence Based Clinical Practice Guideline on Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee to create a list of patient indications, assumptions, and treatments.
- Scenarios ranged from a 25-year old patient with post-traumatic OA of the knee who wants to continue playing baseball, to an 80-year old patient who wants to continue walking with his grandchildren to the park.
- The review panel provided suggestions regarding improvement of the materials constructed by the writing panel.
- The voting panel utilized clinical expertise from multiple medical specialties and evidence-based information to assign the appropriateness of various treatments for each of the patient scenarios, using a 9-point appropriateness scale.
- 53 percent were rated as "Appropriate"
- 29 percent were rated as "May Be Appropriate"
- 18 percent were rated as "Rarely Appropriate"