DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Swollen finger joint due to synovitis, an early degenerative change which occurs in rheumatoid arthritis. This disease affects both the synovium lining the joint capsules of the hands and knees and the cartilage on the articular surfaces of bone. The synovium becomes thickened with an increased blood supply and is distorted into papillary folds as a result of swelling and infiltration by white blood cells. Later changes include destruction of cartilage & its replacement by fibrovascular granulation tissue known as pannus. Joint mobility is limited by pain & swelling & later by cartilage & bone destruction & fusion of the joint (ankylosis).
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