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Surgery of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reginald R. Cooper, MD
JAMA. 1972;220(3):422-425. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030080041.
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In light of the unpredictable and unexplained vacillations in the clinical course of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, selection of appropriate surgical procedures at a given stage of the disease becomes a formidable, albeit critical, task. The authors of this treatise outline possible operations for each joint at multiple stages of the disease, give the indications, advantages, and disadvantages, describe the surgical technique, and, in most sections, document a series of patients wherein each operation was employed. This they do with clarity and with as much precision as the nature of the disease permits.

The book, written by several distinguished physicians and surgeons and often expressing their individual opinions, originated from a conference on rheumatoid arthritis. The chapters by Drs. Cruess and Mitchell summarizing the guidelines for selection of knee and hip operations provide extremely valuable information. Some sections direct attention to procedures too often forgotten in the management of the


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