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The presence of forefoot problems and the role of surgery in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. G A Matricali1,
  2. A Boonen2,
  3. J Verduyckt1,
  4. V Taelman3,
  5. P Verschueren4,
  6. A Sileghem5,
  7. L Corluy6,
  8. R Westhovens4
  1. 1Division of Musculoskeletal Disorders-Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospitals KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Caphri Research Institute, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, H Hart Ziekenhuis, Leuven
  4. 4Division of Musculoskeletal Disorders—Rheumatology, University Hospitals KU Leuven
  5. 5Reumacentrum, Genk, Belgium
  6. 6Reuma Instituut, Hasselt, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    G A Matricali
    Division of Musculoskeletal Disorders, UZ Leuven, KU Leuven, Weligerveld, 1, B-3212 Pellenberg (Lubbeek), Belgium; giovanni.matricali{at}uzleuven.be

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Foot problems constitute a major problem in up to 90% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, causing pain and functional limitations.1,2 Forefoot deformities are often complicated by ulcers, which can infect the foot and result in major septic complications. Although no data are available on the effect of foot problems on function and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, in patients with diabetes mellitus these scores drop substantially.3

Foot problems can be treated by the use of orthotic devices and custom-made shoes, or by a variety of surgical techniques.1,4 We conducted a cross-sectional, multicentre study to assess the burden of forefoot problems and current management in 285 consecutive patients with rheumatoid arthritis in five university and non-university centres between January and April 2004. The mean age of patients was 57 years …

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