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    When Is Surgery Right for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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    What Should I Expect After Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    • You'll be in the hospital for a few days.
    • You can expect some pain and soreness, but medicines will control that.
    • Learn your physical therapy plan and stick with it when you get home. Don't lie around. Practice walking every day.
    • Within 3 to 6 weeks, you should be getting back to normal activity that’s not too hard.
    • Around this time, you'll see your orthopedic surgeon again to check on how you are healing.

    Can There Be Complications From RA Surgery?

    There usually aren't any complications after RA surgery, but it's important to watch out for them. Call your surgeon if you notice any of the following:

    • The skin around the area of surgery becomes unusually red or hot
    • The wound drains pus or thick, foul-smelling fluid
    • You develop a fever higher than 101 F
    • You have chest pain or a noticeable shortness of breath
    • You have unusual pain or swelling in one leg

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on June 15, 2015
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