Login - or - Learn
Contact Us     Maps & Directions     About Us
Find a Provider
Your Medical Home
Find a Facility
Plan Your Visit
Find a Provider
Giving
Mother Frances Hospital
Heart Hospital
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Search Health Information    Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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:

  • Symptoms can no longer be controlled with medicine, joint injections, physical therapy, and exercise.
  • Pain from rheumatoid arthritis can no longer be tolerated.
  • You are not able to do normal daily activities.
  • Narrowing of the joint space or wearing away of the cartilage and bone is causing severe pain or reduced range of motion.

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:

  • Infection developing in the artificial joint (requires removal of the artificial joint and treatment of the infection).
  • Development of blood clots ( thrombophlebitis ).
  • Loosening of the joint.

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) (What is a PDF document?) 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

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

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

 
Trinity Clinic

Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 350 physicians and mid-level providers representing 40 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving East Texas.

Find a Trinity Clinic ProviderMedical Providers Directory  About Trinity Clinic MyChart

TMFHC app on iTunes

TMFHC app on Android Market