An 8-week multimodal treatment program improves symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: a real-world multicenter experience

Pragmat Obs Res. 2013 Oct 24:4:39-44. doi: 10.2147/POR.S53608. eCollection 2013.


Purpose: To report outcomes from a 5-year real-world clinical experience with a multimodal treatment program in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: Patients with symptomatic, radiographically confirmed knee OA resistant to traditional conservative treatments underwent a supervised 8-week multimodal treatment program consisting of low-impact aerobic exercise, muscle flexibility exercises, joint mobilization, physical therapy modalities, muscle strengthening and functional training, patient education, and a series of 3 or 5 weekly hyaluronic acid injections. Patients were evaluated at admission, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Patient-reported outcomes included knee pain severity using an 11-point (0-10) numerical scale and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

Results: A total of 3,569 patients completed an 8-week treatment course between January 2008 and April 2013 at 66 dedicated treatment centers in the United States. Knee pain severity assessed on a numeric scale decreased 59% on average, from 5.4±2.9 to 2.2±2.2 (P<0.001). Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index subscores decreased by 44% to 51% (all P<0.001) during the 8-week program. The percentage of patients achieving the threshold for Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index minimally perceptible clinical improvement was 79% for the Pain subscale, 75% for Function, and 76% for Stiffness. Favorable patient outcomes were reported in all subgroups, regardless of age, sex, body mass index, disease severity, or number of treatment cycles.

Discussion: A real-world 8-week multimodal treatment program results in clinically meaningful improvements in knee OA symptoms, with excellent generalizability across a broad range of patient characteristics.

Keywords: hyaluronic acid; knee; multimodal; nonsurgical; osteoarthritis; physical therapy.