Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is primarily a disease of the joints. But the disease and many of the medications used to treat it can also affect the skin, causing problems as diverse as sun sensitivity, rash, and firm lumps of tissue called nodules.
Joint surgery often restores
near-normal movement in a person who has
osteoarthritis in just one or two joints. But this is
not the case for people affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects multiple
joints, particularly smaller joints, such as finger joints, which are needed
for many daily activities. Surgical treatment may not be an option for all of
the affected joints.
Joint surgery or replacement can relieve
disabling pain and restore enough motion to allow you to do your daily
activities. But it will seldom restore the joint to normal.
Before you decide to have surgery, consult with an
orthopedic surgeon who is experienced in joint surgery
for rheumatoid arthritis.