Approximately 90% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will
have one or both knees involved during the course of the disease.
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) allows restoring function and
relieving pain satisfactorily, but these patients perform in a
different way than those with primary knee osteoarthritis. Aim: To
evaluate the clinical and radiographic results of TKA in patients
with RA. Patients and methods: We analyzed retrospectively the data
of 25 posterior stabilized total knee prostheses in 19 patients,
available to an average follow-up of 6 years. The scores of
Hospital for Special Surgery and of the Knee Society were used for
clinical assessment. Results: The mean Hospital for Special Surgery
score increased from 44 points (range 27-58) preoperatively to 80
points (range 58-91) at the final follow-up examination. Two
prostheses required revision and removal of the implants because of
deep infection, and two had clinical failure as defined by the Knee
Society score. There were no cases of implant loosening.
Discussion: Even though it is not free of complications, TKA is a
good choice in patients with RA in the medium term follow up, with
80% of excellent and good results in our series (Rev Méd Chile
2004; 132: 337-45).