Consideration of the individual, his or her needs, and what he or she hopes to gain through surgery is of primary importance in determining a surgical plan for the rheumatoid patient. Nevertheless, procedures undertaken to save life or prevent neurologic demise must, of course, take precedence. Alleviation of pain and correction of disabling deformity take next priority. Many other considerations go into the formulation of the list of surgical priorities. A full understanding of these considerations and a well-integrated team approach to the rheumatoid patient provide the best chance for optimal outcome following surgery.