Advanced Degenerative Joint Disease and Chronic Lower Back Pain: Evidence-Based Approaches to Care

Activity description

Degenerative joint disease (DJD) and chronic low-back pain (CLBP) are two leading causes of disability that can significantly impact function and quality of life. This activity will focus on evidence-based management approaches to advanced DJD and CLBP. It will discuss the effectiveness of current common interventions, including the utility and role of multimodal rehabilitation therapy, epidural steroid injections (ESI), joint-fusion procedures, and nerve-stimulation modalities aimed at reducing pain.

Provided by
This activity is provided by Optum Health Education and Optum Care, Clinical Performance.

Commercial support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, PAs, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other HCPs who have an interest in learning about advanced degenerative joint disease and chronic lower back pain.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Provide an overview of CLBP, including its multiple etiologies and management-associated challenges. 
  • Describe essential components of the diagnostic evaluation of CLBP. 
  • Discuss the evidence for and effectiveness of treatments directed at CLBP.
  • Describe alternative treatment approaches for CLBP, including multimodal rehabilitation.
  • Discuss the current evidence base for DJD.
  • Provide an overview of the unique challenges of delivering evidence-based care for musculoskeletal disease.  
  • Describe innovative DJD treatment-delivery models and approaches that can optimize outcomes and experiences.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Ken Cohen, MD, FACP 
Executive Director Translational Research 
Senior National Medical Director
Optum Care


Louis Jenis, MD, MS, FACHE
Senior Medical Director
Specialty Projects
Department of Orthopedics and Reconstructive Surgery
Reliant Medical Group


Richard C. Mather III, MD, MBA
Medical Director of Specialty Practices and Specialist Engagement 
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Duke University School of Medicine

About the presenters
Louis Jenis, MD, MS, FACHE, received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1990 and completed an internship and orthopaedic surgery residency in 1996 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center followed by a fellowship in adult reconstructive spine surgery in 1997 at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He developed his spine practice initially at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and then at Newton Wellesley Hospital (NWH) where he was promoted to chief of spine surgery. In 2015, he assumed the role of chief of the spine service at Massachusetts General Hospital and led initiatives to develop an integrated, patient-focused spine program coordinated across an academic medical center and community hospital setting. More recently, he has served as chief medical and innovation officer at NWH and provided executive leadership focusing on clinical program development, patient safety, quality of care, and clinician wellness among other efforts. In 2021, he joined Reliant Medical Group where he also functions as senior medical director, specialty care projects. He remains focused on patient care with interests in outcomes, optimization and efficiency, lowering the costs and variability of the services we provide.

Richard C. “Chad” Mather III, MD, MBA is the medical director of Optum Specialty Practices and Specialist Engagement at Optimal Care and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine with faculty appointments in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. He is focused on transforming how we care for patients organizationally, financially, and technologically to improve the value of health care and its experience. Prior to joining Optum, he was the vice-chairman of practice transformation in the Duke Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a past president of the North Carolina Orthopaedic Association and past health policy fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Miami University and his medical doctorate and his MBA from Duke, where he also completed residency training in orthopaedic surgery. His clinical practice is focused on hip arthroscopy/preservation and is engaged in national and international leadership roles in this field.

Activity planners
Elizabeth Albert, MD
Clinical Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

Sarah Chart, RN
Vice President
OptumHealth Education

Joshua Jacobs, MD, FAAFP
National Medical Director
Optum Care

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, Optum Health Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Dr. Cohen has disclosed that he serves on an advisory board for Pfizer.

The remaining activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Optum Health Education and Optum Care, Clinical Performance. Optum Health Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit designation statements
The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Optum Health Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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