Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It gradually worsens with time. Osteoarthritis treatments can slow the progression of the disease, relieve pain and improve joint function. The present work aimed to study the clinical and therapeutic features of medical care of knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: Retrospective longitudinal study done on the department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine of the Principal Military Hospital of Tunis between January 2011 and December 2012, about 60 patients with knee OA. These patients were divided into two groups of 30 patients each: patients aged 65 years and over or old subjects (OS) and young subjects 30 to 55 years (YS). The evaluation protocol included clinical algofunctional before and after medical and rehabilitative treatment performed on an outpatient program with three sessions per week for two months.
Results: There were 35 women and 25 men with a mean age of 58 ± 6.27 years. The average duration of knee OA was 63.74 ± 38.62 months. The main characteristics of elderly subjects compared to young subjects, before rehabilitation, were the bilateral involvement of the knees (p=0.02), severity of pain (p=0.02), disability (p=0.006), stiffness (p=0.02), muscle weakness of the quadriceps (p=0.006), hamstrings (p=0.03), the retraction of the latter (p=0.04) and reducing the walking distance (p=0.04). 38 patients (19 OS and 19 YS) adhered to the rehabilitation program. After rehabilitation, the main features were the reduction of pain by 60%, improving activities of daily life of 50% .The rehabilitative treatment was more effective in the elderly in terms of pain (p=0.03) and activities of daily living improvement (p=0.01).
Conclusion: Non-pharmacological treatment of knee osteoarthritis is an essential practice at all stages and at any age. It allows elderly to improve their functional ability.