Osteoarthritis (OA) Knee Assessment Service

This service is designed specifically for people who suffer with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The service has been developed by Allied Health Professionals Suffolk together with Orthopaedic consultants from both Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals, GPs, dieticians and commissioners. 

The aims of the service are as follows:

• To improve early access in the treatment pathway to information on options and alternatives to surgery as well as likely outcomes
• To allow patients to participate fully in decisions about their care with their Physiotherapist
• To help manage symptoms through:
-Improved Fitness
-Improved Mobility
-Education
• To improve pre-operative preparation for those needing surgery
• To refer to an Orthopaedic Surgeon for consideration of a total knee replacement should this be required
• To improve post-operative recovery following a total knee replacement

The group-based sessions run at all of our sites include:

• Exercises for improved fitness and flexibility
• Exercises for strength and mobility
• Weight loss and dietary advice
• Education on anatomy and osteoarthritis
• Education around total knee replacement surgery and what it involves
• Advice regarding pain control and management
• Advice regarding smoking cessation
• Video footage of the ‘expert’ patient

If knee conditions are severe or a group setting is difficult to attend (due to hearing or visual loss) patients may be offered individual sessions. These will cover the same material as the groups but it will be tailored to specific requirements.

All of the clinical assessments are carried out by our senior Physiotherapists who will be responsible for ongoing care whilst patients are on the programme. If the programme is completed and patients are able to self-manage their symptoms, there will be a one and three month telephone review from the Physiotherapists to check progress and suggest an assessment should this be required. After this patients can refer themselves back to us at any time should the symptoms change.

We ask all patients who come through the OA knee assessment service to complete a brief questionnaire to let us know how they found the service, highlight any benefits and give suggestions for improvement where necessary.

The West Suffolk Knee Service provides further information for patients diagnosed with Knee Osteoarthritis

The following comments have been taken directly from those questionnaires: 

‘The service gave me good insight and awareness to hopefully reduce problems in my future years. Thank you’

‘Found the knee clinic and more importantly the advice and guidance extremely helpful’

‘The exercises have slightly improved my pain levels but the difference is I seem to be more flexible, exercise is definitely helping my joints. Very enjoyable and knowledgeable classes, very informative having someone to explain joints etc.’

‘I feel more confident with myself in managing everyday walking and exercise’

‘I have enjoyed the exercise sessions and improved so much'

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