Will Knee Surgery Reduce Arthritis Pain?

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 05:27 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and am planning for total knee replacement surgery. Will this help reduce my pain?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder that involves multiple tissues, not only joint tissue. The joint involvement associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and very destructive to bones and cartilage.
 
Replacement of a destroyed joint is sometimes needed for a return to normal function, when less aggressive measures are futile. Your total knee replacement will replace the destroyed joint and its involved synovium (joint lining). But knee replacement will not stop your underlying rheumatoid arthritis from attacking the new joint.
 
Be sure your rheumatologist has your rheumatoid arthritis in full remission before undergoing your knee replacement. As long as your rheumatoid arthritis remains in remission, and your new joint is functioning well, the pain from your old knee should not return.

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