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Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis


Table of Contents


Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Surgery Overview

Arthroplasty is surgery done to reconstruct or replace a diseased joint. For rheumatoid arthritis, arthroplasty is done to restore function to a joint or correct a deformity. Bones in a joint can be reshaped. Or all or part of the joint can be replaced with metal, ceramic, or plastic parts.

What To Expect After Surgery

Recovery following arthroplasty may involve a 2- to 14-day hospital stay. Depending on the joint, rehabilitation may take several weeks to several months.

Why It Is Done

Surgery such as arthroplasty will not cure rheumatoid arthritis, nor will it stop disease activity. But if a joint is badly diseased, surgery may provide pain relief and improve function. Arthroplasty is considered when:

How Well It Works

Arthroplasty can relieve pain and restore enough function in a joint to allow a person to do normal daily activities.1

Risks

Risks of arthroplasty include the risks of surgery and using anesthetic and the risks of:

What To Think About

To learn more about total knee and hip replacement surgery, see the topic Osteoarthritis.

Success of arthroplasty depends in part on whether a person follows a rehabilitation program after surgery.

Complete the surgery information form (PDF) to help you prepare for this surgery.

References

Citations

  1. Firestein GS (2010). Rheumatoid arthritis. In EG Nabel, ed., ACP Medicine, section 15, chap. 2. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.

Credits for Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Last Revised May 15, 2013

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