JAMES STEVENSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES STEVENSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Deformation of a person's hands due to severe rheumatoid arthritis, showing the symmetric degree of severity between the left and right hands. Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common rheumatic disease (after osteoarthritis), and typically affects the joints of the fingers, wrist, feet and ankles and often the hips and shoulders. Treatment of the symptoms of pain and restriction of movement in the affected joints is by use of anti-inflammatory drugs; physiotherapy may be used to preserve movement in inflamed joints.
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