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Decreased rate of joint replacement for RA patients on biologics

Knee with osteoarthritis

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A study published in the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress last month shows that the incidence of knee and hip replacement declined after the introduction of biologics to national rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment guidelines.

The study looked at 30,868 patients diagnosed with RA at the rheumatology department between 1996 and 2011 and compared them with 301,527 controls from the general population. The baseline total knee replacement (TKR) incidence rate per 1,000 person-years was 5.87 for RA versus 0.42 for the controlled group. Prior to 2002, the incidence of total knee replacement increased among RA patients, but started to decrease after the introduction of bDMARDs and their associated guidelines in 2003. In February of 2007, the rate of TKR changed to 1.8 TKRs/1,000 person. Over the study period, the incidence of total knee replacement and total hip replacement increased among the general population controlled group. In contrast, there was a downward trend among RA patients.

Lene Dreyer, MD, from the Center for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases in Denmark, is one of the author the study. Dreyer explained: “Our findings show a clear downward trend in these two operations in RA patients in Denmark since the additions of [biologic disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs] bDMARDs to treatment protocols. Also, the overall pattern of our findings is in line with those recently reported from England and Wales.”

Below is a video examining the quality of rehabilitation care, specifically in hip and knee replacements:

Dr. Marie Westby – Hip and Knee Replacements: Quality Rehabilitation Care ROAR2014

One of eight videos from the Reaching Out With Arthritis Research (ROAR) 2014 event. ROAR is an interactive, educational forum where the latest research findings are presented to people with arthritis, their family members and the public.

In this video, Dr. Westby explains her work on examining the quality of rehabilitation care, specifically in hip and knee replacements. What are indicators of quality care, how are they used, and what scientists are doing with this information. How leading research can achieve better engagement and interaction between scientists, clinicians and patients.

The video was produced on behalf of the Arthritis Patients Advisory Board and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.