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South Med J. 1977 Mar;70(3):270-3, 285.

Joint surgery for rheumatoid arthritis.


The state of the art in the surgery of rheumatoid joint disease is discussed with emphasis on guidelines for choosing the patients and the types of procedures available. Strong-willed, strong-boned, strong-muscled, and well-informed patients are the best candidates. Synovectomy is particularly useful in the minimally erosive stages of the disease when the active synovitis is not suppressed by one or more steroid injections or other modalities of therapy. Arthrodeses and arthroplasties are midstage procedures that are now being supplanted by total joint replacement. This is especially true of the knee, but new prostheses for elbows, shoulders, wrists, and ankles are on the horizon.

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