Quality of Life in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Commentary on Nonsurgical and Surgical Treatments

Jack Farr II1, Larry E. Miller2, 3, Jon E. Block*, 3
1 OrthoIndy South, 1260 Innovation Pkwy., Suite 100, Greenwood, IN 46143, USA
2 Miller Scientific Consulting, Inc., 26 Portobello Road, Arden, NC 28704, USA
3 The Jon Block Group, 2210 Jackson Street, Suite 401, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA

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© Farr II et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Jon Block Group, 2210 Jackson Street, Suite 401, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA; Tel: +1 415 775 7947; Fax: +415 928 0765; E-mail:


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) has a significant negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Identification of therapies that improve HRQoL in patients with knee OA may mitigate the clinical, economic, and social burden of this disease. The purpose of this commentary is to report the impact of knee OA on HRQoL, describe the change in HRQoL attributable to common knee OA interventions, and summarize findings from clinical trials of a promising therapy. Nonsurgical therapies do not reliably modify HRQoL in knee OA patients given their general inability to alleviate physical manifestations of OA. Surgical knee OA interventions generally result in good to excellent patient outcomes. However, there are significant barriers to considering surgery, which limits clinical utility. Therapies that most effectively control OA-related pain with a low risk: benefit ratio will likely have the greatest benefit on HRQoL with greater rates of patient adoption. Initial clinical trial findings suggest that less invasive joint unloading implants hold promise in bridging the therapeutic gap between nonsurgical and surgical treatments for the knee OA patient.

Keywords: Intervention, knee, osteoarthritis, pain, quality of life, unloading.