Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) one of the deformitive disease for feet. Patients generally need the special care, shoes and assistive devices because of their feet deformities.
Objectives To evaluate the static and dynamic balances of the RA patients and to assess its relationship with clinical, functional and radiological parameters.
Methods Patients diagnosed with RA according to ACR 2010 criteria were recruited into the study. Age and gender matched healthy subjects were into the control group. The demographic (age, sex) and clinical properties (BMI, DAS28 etc) of patients were recorded. The state of balance of the patients was evaluated by means of “Berg Balance Scale” (BBS) and also 3 static and 4 dynamic balance tests with 25 parameters were assessed via the “Neurocom Balance Master” device. Radiographic assessments of feet were done to consider the deformities. “Foot and Ankle Outcome Score” (FAOS) was applied for foot function assessment. The level of fatigue (MAF: Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and sleep disorders (Pitsbourg Sleep Quality Index) of all patients were evaluated and corelated with balance parameters.
Results This study included 165 cases that consist of 81 RA group (66 female, 15 male) and 84 healthy control group (70 female, 14 male). The mean age of patients and controls were 48.90±10.36 and 45.89±12.07 years, respectively. Age, sex and BMI data of both groups were similar (p>0.05). There was a significant difference between the static and dynamic balance test results of the patient and the control groups (p<0.05). It was deduced that 66.7% of patients have depression, 64.2% sleep disorders and 93.8% fatigue according to surveys; however there was no correlation between these symptoms and presence of balance disorders. Although 92.4% of patients were established with foot deformities, these deformities were not correlated with FAOS and balance disorders. The presence of the swollen joint was determined as the most relevant factor about the balance disorders of RA patients.
Conclusions Although RA patients have balance disturbances when we compared them with healthy controls, this disturbances has not significant relation with clinical, functional and radiological parameters. Balance problems are an important finding independently from other parameters during the course of the disease
Disclosure of Interest None declared