Lupus surgery. Operation to fuse the thumb joint of a patient with arthritis due to lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus). This procedure, known as arthrodesis, immobilises the joint to relieve pain. The surgeon removes cartilage (pink lump at left) and uses wire to fix the bones in place. Lupus is a disorder where the immune system attacks healthy tissue (an autoimmune disorder). As well as arthritis, symptoms include skin rash, fever, kidney problems and sensitivity to light. It is 10 to 15 times more common in women than in men. It is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
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