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The results of 75 MacIntosh arthroplasties performed for rheumatoid arthritis of the knee in 63 patients were reviewed at least 10 years after surgery. Forty-two knees in 35 patients were available for assessment. Eleven arthroplasties had been revised to total knee replacement without difficulty because of pain or poor function. The remaining 31 knees in 25 patients gave good or excellent results in 22 cases, fair in eight, and poor in one. Seven patients could not be traced, and 21 patients representing 26 knees had died. At least half these knees had given satisfactory results immediately before death judged by review of the case notes. The difficulty of comparing functional status with the preoperative state because of progressive multiarticular disease was highlighted. Although greater angular deformities preoperatively reduced the chance of success in the medium term, late failure of the arthroplasty after five years was very rare. Approximately two-thirds of all the arthroplasties performed gave satisfactory results at 10-year follow up or until the time of death.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Rheum Dis

Publication Date





738 - 741


Adult, Aged, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Attitude to Health, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Knee Joint, Knee Prosthesis, Male, Middle Aged