Can Surgery Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Surgery itself doesn’t cause rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, primarily affecting the joints but can also affect other parts of the body.

There’s no direct evidence to suggest that undergoing surgery causes the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are instances where surgery might lead to symptoms that mimic arthritis or exacerbate pre-existing arthritic conditions. Some potential reasons for this include:

  • Postoperative joint pain: After surgery, some individuals might experience joint pain or stiffness as a result of immobility during recovery. This discomfort can mimic arthritis symptoms but usually resolves as the individual becomes more active and the healing process progresses.
  • Pre-existing joint conditions: In people with a genetic predisposition or a family history of arthritis, surgery-related stress or trauma might potentially trigger the onset of symptoms or exacerbate existing joint conditions. However, surgery itself is not considered a direct cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

While surgery doesn’t cause rheumatoid arthritis, it’s essential to note that stress, both physical and emotional, might potentially exacerbate symptoms in individuals who already have the condition. Managing stress and following a treatment plan prescribed by a healthcare professional are essential for controlling the symptoms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

If you’re concerned about the impact of surgery or experiencing joint symptoms after a surgical procedure, it’s advisable to discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider. They can assess your symptoms, perform necessary evaluations, and provide guidance on managing any discomfort or addressing potential concerns related to joint health.

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