Total knee arthroplasty in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

David H. Palmer, Kevin J. Mulhall, Corey A. Thompson, Erik P. Severson, Edward Rainier G Santos, Khaled J. Saleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: There is a paucity of reports regarding the long-term results of total knee arthroplasty in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of total knee arthroplasty in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who had been followed for a minimum of twelve years. Methods: Eight consecutive patients (fifteen knees) with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis underwent total knee arthroplasty at an average age of 16.8 years. Clinical evaluation of pain status, range of motion, and the ability to walk and radiographic evaluation of the alignment of the knees and component loosening were performed preoperatively and at a mean of 15.5 years postoperatively. Results: All patients had substantial pain and functional limitation before the surgery, and seven of the eight patients used a wheelchair. At the time of the latest follow-up, which was after revision surgery in three patients, all of the knees were pain-free and six patients were able to walk about the community. The mean arc of motion had increased from 36° to 79°. The final radiographic evaluation showed that thirteen of the fifteen knees were in neutral alignment and two were in valgus. Failure, defined as revision of any of the components or definite loosening as seen radiographically, occurred in three knees. Conclusions: Good results, in terms of pain relief and restoration of function, were seen at a minimum of twelve years following total knee arthroplasty in our series of patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This procedure is a reasonable option when nonoperative therapy has been inadequate for patients with severe disability and pain in this relatively young population. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1510-1514
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


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