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Medical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) aims at controlling synovitis and arresting erosive disease. Orthopaedic surgery deals with joint destruction, reflecting the severity of damage, but also deals with local persistent synovitis and tenosynovitis. Along with altering medical treatment strategies, rheumatologists and surgeons feel they have changed the type and timing of surgery in recent years. We performed a cross sectional study on the use of orthopaedic surgery in RA, to provide data on types of procedures and evolution of timing and type of surgery.
A cross sectional study (January to April 2004) was carried out in two university and three non-university outpatient clinics. Consecutive outpatients with RA1 (n = 285) were considered, except for one centre that included patients attending the day care centre for treatment with …