By analyzing study data further, she hopes to better understand the effect flares have on postoperative outcomes at one year. If patients who flare in the immediate postoperative period also experience less improvement in pain and function, then a change in perioperative management strategy may become important—after correcting for other factors, such as baseline function and overall health.
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“For now, we can say that those patients with active disease, which is the majority of patients with RA who undergo hip or knee replacement, are more likely to flare,” Dr. Goodman says. However, “after we have completed the analysis, we should have a better understanding of the implications of post-op flare.”
This information may prove valuable, aiding patients, rheumatologists and surgeons to plan ahead for the risk of postoperative flare. A preventative approach may give patients the best opportunity for optimal recovery after surgery, Dr. Goodman adds.
Carina Stanton is a freelance science journalist based in Denver.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Fifth AJJR annual report. 2018.
- Sloan M, Sheth NP. Projected volume of primary and revision total joint arthroplasty in the U.S., 2030–2060. 2018 Annual Meeting of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2018 Mar.
- Goodman SM, Bykerk VP, DiCarlo E, et al. Flares in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after total hip and total knee arthroplasty: Rates, characteristics and risk factors. J Rheumatol. 2018 May;45(5):604–611.