Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory ailment that affects multiple joints. However, this is too simple a picture. RA has systemic manifestations & can involve other organs like eyes, lungs, nerves as well. In fact, we now call it Rheumatoid Disease as it is more than just arthritis.
Unchecked rheumatoid inflammation in the joints damages the joints (as seen previously on this blog). It can destroy the cartilage in the joints & leads to secondary osteoarthritis. This is common in the knee due to the weight bearing.
Surgical intervention like TKR (Total Knee replacement), THR (Total Hip replacement) are used to take care of the damaged joint. Once severely damaged, knee replacement surgery remains the best option. TKR, THR thus take care of the mechanical problem in the involved joint. It does not take care of the RA activity. Hence the surgery will have no implications on the inflammation in the other joints.