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Abstract

The consensus of three physicians regarding the results of 84 synovectomies performed in the joints of 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis was obtained; 43 joints were considered better, 17 unchanged, and 24 worse than they were before surgery. At an average of 2.5 years after surgery, synovial swelling recurred in 70% of the joints; in 67%, there was evidence of radiographic progression in the operated joint. These data suggest that synovectomy temporarily slows the disease in the operated joint but that the rheumatoid process probably will recur eventually.