Resource Surgery The decision to have surgery is understandably a very difficult one to make. All types of surgery carry risks to the individual and will require a recovery time. However, there can also be a lot of benefits to surgery, such as reducing pain and improving mobility. Print Some surgeries will be more successful if undertaken at an earlier stage before any further damage has been done. Surgery, like all areas of medicine, is improving all the time, from new methods of surgery to new materials, such as implants and innovations, such as 3D printing. Implants used in joint replacements last longer than ever before and recovery times have improved as more is understood about the best aftercare advice to give to patients. There are many different types of surgery that someone with RA may need because of their healthcare condition, from removal of bunions to replacement of or fusing of joints. Often, surgery will require a period of stopping or reducing medications, and specific advice will be given for how long treatments are stopped for, depending on the nature of both the surgery and the drug. Joint replacement surgery is less common now than it used to be, due to advancements in the treatment and management of RA, but it is sometimes necessary, especially for people who have RA more severely and/or have had the condition for a long time. Information on surgery, as well as personal accounts from people who have had the surgery themselves, can help with the decision of whether or not to proceed with surgery, as well as offering reassurance and answers about any concerns you may have. Article Hand Surgery in rheumatoid arthritis: An Overview Surgery to the hands can be performed on either the joints or the soft tissue, such as nerves and tendons. Article Surgery of the Foot & Ankle Approximately 15% of patients who have the disease will have pain and/or swelling affecting the feet as their first symptom, and for some, foot complications will lead to them needing surgery. Article Ankle Fusion – A Patient’s Perspective A patient’s experience with ankle fusion surgery. Article Elbow Surgery A total elbow replacement is predominantly a procedure which is carried out in patients with longstanding RA. When it is needed, a metal and plastic replacement joint to the elbow can add significant quality of life to the patient. Article Knee Replacement Surgery Over 100,000 knee replacements are now carried out annually in the UK. As a weight-bearing joint, a lot of strain is put upon the knee, and the effects of this and RA can lead to knee replacement surgery being necessary. Article Knee Replacement – A Patient’s Perspective NRAS founder and Patient Champion Ailsa Bosworth discusses her personal experiences with knee replacement. Read more Foot Surgery → For most, foot orthotics, medication and good footwear can be enough to manage foot health in RA, but in some cases, surgery may be required, whether it’s the removal of painful bunions or more extensive corrective joint surgery.