Aside from weight reduction and avoiding activities that exert excessive stress on the joint cartilage, there is no specific medical treatment to halt cartilage degeneration or to repair damaged cartilage in osteoarthritis. There is no medication to stop osteoarthritis (disease-modifying medication). The goal of treatment in osteoarthritis is to reduce joint pain and inflammation while improving and maintaining joint function.
Some patients with osteoarthritis have minimal or no pain and may not need treatment. Others may benefit from conservative measures such as
- diet control with weight loss,
- physical therapy and/or occupational therapy, and
- mechanical support devices, such as knee braces.