Joint replacement surgery is a fairly major procedure that has certain well known risks.  For the general population risks of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and infection are increased after surgery.  A recent article published in Arthritis and Rheumatism reports that rheumatoid arthritis patients who undergo hip or knee replacement surgery are also at higher risk of hip dislocation and knee infections postoperatively.  In particular, infection risk in RA patient’s was almost 2 times higher after knee replacement compared to people without rheumatoid arthritis.  The higher risk of hip dislocation was surprising as well.  An important take away point from this study includes that if you are able to avoid joint replacement surgery you should try to do so.  If you have not maximized your other treatment options, including strengthening exercises, weight loss, cell based treatments, and overall better control of an underlying condition making you more prone to worsening arthritis, you should do so prior to considering surgery.

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