Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Clinical Practice Guideline

Published August 31, 2021

This clinical practice guideline is intended for use with adults who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee and are undergoing treatment. Additionally, the scope of this guideline includes non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions, as well as operative procedures less invasive than knee replacement (arthroplasty). It does not provide recommendations for patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis of other joints, or inflammatory arthropathies.


Clinical practice guidelines (CPG) provide evidence-based recommendations for current orthopaedic diagnostic, treatment, and postoperative procedures. Multdisciplinary clinician work groups and AAOS staff work together to synthesize published research with the aim of providing a transparent and robust summary of the research findings for a particular orthopaedic disease topic.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee Toolkit

The Osteoarthritis of the Knee Toolkit is a collection of related information, resources, and tools to assist AAOS members in making informed practice decisions based on evidence-based recommendations and/or practice standards. The information provided compiles advocacy, practice management, and quality improvement resources while including clinical and patient education.



AAOS journals and news sources often publish addtional information about quality programs and guidelines. Note that these resources are available exclusively to AAOS members and your login is required to access them.


OrthoInfo Patient Resources

OrthoInfo, the AAOS patient education website, features more than 400 articles, videos, and animations on common orthopaedic problems, surgical procedures, nonsurgical treatments, injury prevention, and healthy living. Written in simple language, all content is developed and peer reviewed by AAOS members. The following OrthoInfo articles contain patient information on the clinical guideline topic shown at the top of the page.