Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that may result in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair damaged joints, correct issues, and reduce pain. A total joint replacement, called arthroplasty, is a surgical option to help restore the function of a joint.
Although medical treatments can help slow the progression of RA and alleviate the symptoms, some people may still require surgery to ease joint pain and improve mobility. Arthroplasty, or joint replacement surgery, is a procedure that usually involves the replacement of a damaged joint with an artificial one. Knee and hip arthroplasties are the two most common types of arthroplasty.
A 2015 study Source estimates that approximately 7 million people in the United States are living with a knee or hip replacement and predicts that this could increase to roughly 11 million by 2030. Arthroplasty can be an effective treatment option, and a doctor may recommend it when nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful and an individual still experiences pain and a decline in joint function.