Local infectious complications following large joint replacement in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with methotrexate versus those not treated with methotrexate

Authors

  • Robert S. Perhala MD,

    1. Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
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  • William S. Wilke MD,

    1. Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
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  • John D. Clough MD,

    1. Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
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  • Allen M. Segal DO

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Desk A50, One Clinic Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44195-5028
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Abstract

We performed a 10-year retrospective analysis of the frequency of local postoperative infectious complications in methotrexate (MTX)-treated rheumatoid arthritis patients who underwent total joint arthroplasty. Sixty patients, who had a total of 92 joint arthroplasties, were receiving MTX. A comparison group of 61 patients with a combined total of 110 total joint arthroplasties were not receiving MTX. The 2 groups were compared for the occurrence of local postoperative infectious complications and poor wound healing. Eight patients in the MTX group experienced a total of 8 complications (8.7% of procedures). In comparison, 5 patients in the non-MTX group experienced a total of 6 complications (5.5% of procedures), a difference that was not statistically significant (χX2 = 0.816, P = 0.366). Statistical analysis of many other variables revealed none that could be identified as risk factors for postoperative complications. These results suggest that treatment in the perioperative period with weekly low-dose pulse MTX does not increase the risk of local postoperative infectious complications or poor wound healing in rheumatoid arthritis patients who undergo total joint arthroplasty.

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