Patient-reported outcome after rheumatoid arthritis-related surgery in the lower extremities A report from the Swedish National Register of Rheuma Surgery (RAKIR)
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Background and purpose Although decreasing with the development of effective pharmacological regimes, joint surgery has improved the function and quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Few studies have assessed patient-reported outcomes after RA surgery to the lower extremities. Here we report patient-relevant outcome after RA-related surgery based on the first data from the Swedish National Register of Rheuma Surgery (RAKIR). Patients and methods 258 RA patients (212 women) who had joint surgery performed at the Department of Orthopaedics, Spenshult Hospital between September 2007 and June 2009 were included. Mean age at surgery was 64 (20-86) years. The patients completed the SF-36 and HAQ questionnaires preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, and 165 patients completed them after 12 months. Results Improvement was seen as early as at 6 months. At 12 months, 165 patients (141 women)-including hip (n = 15), knee (n = 27), foot (n = 102), and ankle (n = 21) patients-reported statistically significant improvements from preoperatively to 12 months postoperatively in HAQ (mean change: -0.11) and SF-36 subscales physical function (11), role physical (12), bodily pain (13), social functioning (6.4), and role emotional (9.4). Hip and knee patients reported the greatest improvements. Interpretation Orthopedic RA-related surgery of the lower extremities has a strong effect on pain and physical function. Improvement is evident as early as 6 months postoperatively and remains after 12 months.