Individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) frequently have arthralgia but joint damage leading to surgery is thought to be less common. In addition to inflammatory damage, other reasons like avascular necrosis (AVN), which is often associated with steroid use, excessive alcohol intake and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), may increase the likelihood of large joint failure. In this study we aimed to determine the likelihood of having a total hip replacement (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR) for individuals with SLE compared to those without lupus, by performing a retrospective matched case control study of all THRs and TKRs that were performed between 1991 and 2011 and recorded in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD). Individuals with inflammatory arthritis due to any other causes were excluded and the results were adjusted for steroid use, alcohol consumption (drinking status) and APS. The results show that patients with lupus who had a THR or TKR were younger than their peers without lupus. In addition, they appeared to have a significantly increased risk of TKR but the increased risk of THR did not remain after adjustment for steroid use, alcohol consumption and APS.
Keywords: Systemic lupus erythematosus; arthroplasty; hip; knee; replacement.
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