The outcomes of surgery for rheumatoid nodules in the hand

Andrzej Żyluk, Filip Fliciński


Rheumatoid nodules are common extra-articular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is estimated that 35–40% of patients diagnosed with RA have got nodules localised in various body regions. Rheumatoid nodules constitute a fairly common problem in the hand surgeon’s practice. This study presents the results of operative treatment of 30 patients with rheumatoid nodules in the upper limb – 21 women and 9 men with a mean age of 51 years. Only 6 of the 30 patients (20%) had RA diagnosed prior to surgery. All but 1 nodules were localised on the hands. The follow-up assessment was performed in a form of a phone interview on average 1.5 years following the surgery. All patients declared satisfaction with the results of the treatment, 5 (17%) had a slight pain in the postoperative scar, and 6 (20%) complained about the esthetic effect. Two cases (7%) of recurrence at the operation site were noted. The results of this study indicate a good effect of surgery and justify this approach to rheumatoid nodules in hands.


rheumatoid arthritis; rheumatoid nodules; operative treatment; surgery outcomes

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