MEDICAL PHOTO NHS LOTHIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEDICAL PHOTO NHS LOTHIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour X-ray showing erosion of the knee joint due to rheumatoid arthritis. This is one specific type of arthritis, a general term used to describe inflammation of the joints. The disease typically affects joints symmetrically: those of the fingers, wrists, feet, ankles, hips and shoulders. The degree of severity varies considerably. Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by a blood test that reveals the presence of the rheumatoid factor and by X-rays that show typical erosion of the joints. Anti- inflammtory drugs are used initially in treatment; severe cases may require replacement with an artificial joint.
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