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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 or plastic parts.
Recovery following arthroplasty may
involve a 2- to 14-day hospital stay. Depending on the joint, rehabilitation
may take several weeks to several months.
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:
Arthroplasty can relieve pain and
restore enough function in a joint to allow a person to do normal daily
Risks of arthroplasty include the risks of
surgery and using anesthetic and the risks of:
For more information on total knee
and hip replacement surgery, see the topic Osteoarthritis.
of arthroplasty depends in part on whether a person follows a rehabilitation
program after surgery.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
Firestein GS (2007). Rheumatoid arthritis. In DC Dale,
DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 15, chap. 2.
New York: WebMD.
June 5, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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