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J Hand Surg Am. 2000 Sep;25(5):921-9.

Evaluating hand surgery in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: short-term effect on dexterity and pain and its relationship with patient satisfaction.

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  • 1Sint Maartenskliniek Research and the Departments of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Short-term effect of hand surgery on hand function in activities of daily life (dexterity) and pain were studied in 70 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Only surgical interventions aimed at improvement of function and/or pain relief were included in the study. Patients were assessed before surgery and 6 and 12 months after surgery. Clinical change in the surgical group was observed in the number of painful and swollen joints, observed dexterity, and pain in the hand. Six months after surgery 74% of the patients showed positive clinical change in hand functioning and/or hand pain. Clinical effects remained stable between 6 and 12 months after surgical assessments. Both change in observed dexterity and pain had an independent impact on the patient's satisfaction with the results of the surgery.

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