In selected circumstances, especially those associated with pain and mechanical instability, early surgical therapy is indicated for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Close consultation between the rheumatologist and surgeon enables identification of focused goals attainable by synovectomy, ligament or tendon reconstruction, joint replacement, or arthrodesis. If these goals are met, the result can be a gratifying return of function and independence. This article describes some of the more common deformities of the hand, wrist, and elbow in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Current surgical therapy, along with outcome and complications, is also discussed. Emphasis is placed on decisions and indications for surgical evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine