Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares After Total Hip and Total Knee Arthroplasty: Outcomes at One Year

Publication Date


Journal Title

Arthritis Care Res


© 2019, American College of Rheumatology Objective: Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) have active RA and report postoperative flares; whether RA disease activity or flares increase the risk of worse pain and function scores 1 year later is unknown. Methods: Patients with RA were enrolled before THA/TKA. Patient-reported outcomes, including the Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS)/Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and physician assessments of disease characteristics and activity (Disease Activity Score in 28 joints [DAS28] and Clinical Disease Activity Index), were collected before surgery. Patient-reported outcomes were repeated at 1 year. Postoperative flares were identified using the RA Flare Questionnaire weekly for 6 weeks and were defined by concordance between patient report plus physician assessment. We compared baseline characteristics and HOOS/KOOS scores using 2-sample t-test/Wilcoxon's rank sum test as well as chi-square/Fisher's exact tests. We used multivariate linear and logistic regression to determine the association of baseline characteristics, disease activity, and flares with 1-year outcomes. Results: One-year HOOS/KOOS scores were available for 122 patients (56 with THA and 66 with TKA). Although HOOS/KOOS pain was worse for patients who experienced a flare within 6 weeks of surgery, absolute improvement was not different. In multivariable models, baseline DAS28 predicted 1-year HOOS/KOOS pain and function; each 1-unit increase in DAS28 worsened 1-year pain by 2.41 (SE 1.05; P = 0.02) and 1-year function by 4.96 (SE 1.17; P = 0.0001). Postoperative flares were not independent risk factors for pain or function scores. Conclusion: Higher disease activity increased the risk of worse pain and function 1 year after arthroplasty, but postoperative flares did not.

Volume Number


Issue Number



925 - 932

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Molecular Medicine





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