Objective: To identify distinct recovery trajectories of acute flares of knee pain and associated participant characteristics. Methods: Data were from the FLARE randomized controlled trial, a multicenter trial in 27 primary care centers in the UK and Netherlands of 3 regimes of oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory therapy for acute flares of knee pain. Individuals with a history of inflammatory/crystal arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain syndrome were excluded. Latent class growth analysis was applied to measures of pain intensity repeated over 5 days to identify distinct recovery trajectories. The concurrent courses of interference with activity, stiffness, and swelling for each trajectory group were modelled using generalized estimating equations. Participant age, sex, obesity, and osteoarthritis diagnosis were described for each trajectory group. Results: A total of 449 participants were included (median age 55 years, 41% female, 35% obese, and 42% diagnosed with osteoarthritis). A 6-group cubic model was deemed optimal, with trajectories distinguished by rate of pain reduction and absolute level at final measurement. At the extremes were rapid and near-complete resolution (n = 41, 9%) and persistent, high pain (n = 25, 6%), but most participants showed a reduction and plateau in pain severity within 3–5 days. Within each pain trajectory group, interference with activity, stiffness, and swelling followed the same course as pain. Baseline characteristics did not differ substantially between trajectory groups. Conclusion: Even under a well-adhered to regime of oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication, recovery following acute flares of knee pain is heterogeneous. Our observations that favorable trajectories are apparent within 3–5 days can help to inform treatment decision-making in the patient–health care professional consultation.

doi.org/10.1002/acr.24088, hdl.handle.net/1765/132048
Arthritis Care and Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Thomas, M.J. (Martin J.), Yu, D. (Dahai), Nicholls, E. (Elaine), Bierma-Zeinstra, S., Conaghan, P.G. (Philip G.), Stoner, K.J. (Karen J.), … Peat, G. (2020). Short-Term Recovery Trajectories of Acute Flares in Knee Pain: A UK-Netherlands Multicenter Prospective Cohort Analysis. Arthritis Care and Research, 72(12), 1687–1692. doi:10.1002/acr.24088