Objective: To evaluate the influence of methotrexate (MTX) on the frequency of postoperative complications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: We conducted a randomized unblinded prospective study in 64 patients with RA treated with MTX and who underwent orthopedic surgery. Two groups of patients were constituted: in Group A (32 patients), MTX was interrupted 7 days before the surgery; in Group B (32 patients), MTX was not discontinued.
Results: Fifty surgical procedures were performed in Group A and 39 procedures in Group B. No postoperative infection was observed in any group. A prolonged wound healing was noticed in 6 cases in Group A and in 4 cases in Group B (not significant).
Conclusion: We suggest that the interruption of MTX is not required in patients with RA when an orthopedic surgical treatment is planned. However a large prospective study is needed to make a definitive conclusion.