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Hip Synovectomy Helps Young Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Mobility often increases and pain decreases after surgery

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Open hip-joint synovectomy is safe for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis patients and often benefits hip mobility up to five years after surgery, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Hans-Dieter Carl, M.D., of Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, and colleagues assessed hip function after 67 open hip-joint synovectomies in 56 juvenile rheumatoid arthritis patients, including 55 hips with stage III changes or more.

Sixty-five hips could be followed-up, and in those patients the mean hip score rose from 9.5 initially to 16.3 after a mean 50-month follow-up. Pain decreased and walking aptitude and movement increased. Mobility improved in 85 percent of hips. Surgical complications included two superficial wound hematomas, but further treatment was not needed. No osteonecrosis of the femur head was found. During follow-up, five hips needed total hip arthroplasty and 94 percent of hips survived a mean of four years after synovectomy.

"Open hip synovectomy in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a safe procedure that can improve hip-joint function for up to five years," the authors write.

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