Hip replacement surgery in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

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Although TNF-α inhibitors’ striking effect on clinical symptoms have revolutionised the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), no certain influence on the development of spinal ankylosis and joint destruction has been documented. We wished to investigate whether improved treatment has affected the use of hip arthroplasty surgery.


Using the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register, we selected hip prosthesis procedures performed in patients with AS in 1988–2010 (n=534), and compared the trend in the number of procedures being performed annually in 1988–2002 versus 2003–2010. Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) (n=95094) were used as a control group.


The frequency of hip prosthesis surgery increased significantly in both groups up until 2002. In 2003–2010, although not statistically significant (p=0.087), there was a trend towards a reduced frequency in the AS group when compared with the expected continued increase as was seen among patients with OA. Mean age at surgery increased significantly (p<0.001) from 49.9 years to 56.4 years when comparing patients with AS up until and after 2002.


TNF-α inhibitors were introduced to patients with AS in Norway in 2000–2003, and our findings suggest that they may have altered the prognosis by inhibiting or slowing large joint arthritis and thus reducing the need for hip replacement surgery.

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