Physiotherapy Management of Knee Osteoarthritis in the Canadian Forces

Jillian Hooper

Purpose: To examine physiotherapists’ views of the effectiveness of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for treating knee osteoarthritis in Canadian Forces (CF) members and estimate prevalence of this condition in the CF.

Methods: An online survey was used to gather data from 16 physiotherapists from 2 CF bases regarding the OARSI guidelines. A second survey asked physiotherapists for demographic information and treatment plans for members with knee OA.

Findings: The 12 (75%) participating physiotherapists agreed the OARSI guidelines are effective for managing knee OA in CF members. Seventy-five percent indicated less than 10% of their caseload included people with knee OA. Exercise and education were rated as effective or moderately effective treatments; bracing as less effective. A poor response rate yielded inconclusive findings about prevalence.

Conclusion: Physiotherapy management of knee OA in CF members appears to be similar to management in other populations. Prevalence and impact on the CF requires further study.