DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hand. View of the hand of an 84 year- old woman suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The knuckle-joints are swollen and the fingers are pointing away from the thumb-side of the hand. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues. It affects joints which become swollen, red, warm, painful and stiff. Most sufferers are dependent on medication for the rest of their lives, but effective control of symptoms can allow a near-normal level of activity. Treatments include physiotherapy, corticosteriod drugs, anti- rheumatoid drugs and joint replacement surgery.
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