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Several studies from different countries show that the rate of orthopaedic surgery has decreased for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in recent years. In Sweden, there was a decrease in RA-related lower limb surgical procedures between 1987 and 2001,1 and in RA-related upper limb surgery between 1998 and 2004.2 Denmark has reported a decrease in the incidence of total hip arthroplasties due to RA,3 and the number of total joint replacement (TJR) operations and synovectomies decreased in the Norwegian population from 1994 to 2004.4 Japan has also reported the declining use of synovectomy surgery for patients with RA.5 These changes may reflect trends in disease severity, management and health outcomes in each country. Meanwhile, Sokka et al reported that the rate of TJR …
Funding This study was supported by a research grant from 36 pharmaceutical companies for the large observational cohort study of rheumatoid arthritis at the Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women’s Medical University.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Ethics approval from Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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