Arch Hand Microsurg.  2020 Mar;25(1):2-7. 10.12790/ahm.19.0041.

The Adequacy of Evaluation by Rheumatologists before Undergoing Arthroscopic Synovectomy in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, MS Jaegeon Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the progression of arthritis and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) through the treatment-resistant mono joint rheumatoid arthritis treated with arthroscopic synovectomy.
We retrospectively reviewed 65 patients who underwent arthroscopic synovectomy for rheumatoid wrist or elbow which had not responded to systemic treatment for at least 6 months. The main treatment response evaluation methods of rheumatologists were the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response criteria, and the ACR/EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) remission criteria. The medical records, results of laboratory tests and radiographs of wrist or elbow that had been performed by rheumatologists before arthroscopic synovectomy were investigated. We examined whether the results of laboratory tests and arthritic change of radiograph had statistically significant correlation.
The mean duration of joint symptom until referral to orthopedic department was 23 months (range, 1 month to 9.2 years). During this period, rheumatologists had took average one X-ray (range, 0–3). Forty-seven patients (72.3%) had CRP of 1 mg/dL or less as included in the ACR/EULAR remission criteria. Seventeen out of 65 patients who had two or more X-ray were able to evaluate the progression of arthritis. The change of arthritis and mean ESR (p=0.787) or CRP (p=0.303) the same period didn’t have statistically significant relationship (Spearman correlation analysis).
Since the method of evaluating the treatment response of rheumatologists is to assess the systemic condition, arthritis of one joint that is resistant to treatment is considered to require periodic radiographs as method to assess itself.


Recalcitrant rheumatoid arthritis; Pauci-joint rheumatoid arthritis; Recalcitrant one joint rheumatoid arthritis
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