To assess the impact of total knee arthroplasty, researchers compared two groups: patients with rheumatoid arthritis and patients with osteoarthritis

Published this week in Arthritis & Rheumatology, the study concluded that total knee arthroplasty is “highly effective” in alleviating knee pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers also found that the procedure also provides additional subjective quality of life indices in patients with the chronic inflammatory disorder.


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For osteoarthritis patients, however, improvements after the surgery were not as great.

“A new knee can give osteoarthritis patients 10 to 20 years of painless use, whereas rheumatoid arthritis continues to affect the joint soon afterward,” said Dr. Kaleb Michaud, senior author of the study, in a statement. “It’s an important and effective treatment, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis shouldn’t expect the same, often-dramatic results experienced by their osteoarthritis counterparts.”

He added: “You’ve gotten rid of a knee plagued by arthritis, not the arthritis itself. Still, it’s an important option that can dramatically improve the patient’s quality of life.”

Reference

1. Dusad A, et al. Arthritis Rheum. 2015; 10.1002/art.39221.