, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 117-123
Date: 19 Feb 2014

The Use of Biologic DMARDS Identifies Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with More Optimistic Expectations of Total Knee Arthroplasty

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Preoperative expectations of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) correlate with postsurgical satisfaction, and are linked to outcomes. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and other chronic diseases, may lower expectations, although new biologic medications have greatly enhanced patients’ quality of life.


The purpose of this study is to compare preoperative expectations of RA to those of matched osteoarthritis (OA) patients undergoing TKA, and examine the subset of RA on biologic DMARD therapy.


For a cross-sectional study, RA and OA identified from an institutional TKA registry were matched on age, sex, prior TKA, and preoperative function. Expectations were measured using the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Knee Expectations Survey. Expectations and quality of life measures were assessed preoperatively and scores were compared between RA and OA.


One hundred fourteen RA cases, 46.5% on biologics, were matched to 228 OA cases. The average expectations score was not significantly lower for RA compared to OA (72.9 ± 20.7 vs. 77.2 ± 18.3, p = 0.040. RA on biologics had expectations similar to OA (total expectation score 76.3 ± 18.1 vs. 77.4 ± 17.4, p = 0.71), while RA not on biologics had expectations that were significantly lower (69.9 ± 22.4 vs. 77.1 ± 19.0, p = 0.03).


Use of biologics in RA patients was associated with higher expectations, similar to those of OA patients, but the effect on outcomes is not known. Further studies should assess the effect of higher expectations in RA patients on outcomes.