CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hands. Coloured X-ray image of hands suffering severe rheumatoid arthritis. Here, the joints between the finger bones (yellow) are swollen and little or no cartilage is seen, resulting in the ends of each bone deforming. The deformed shape of these hands is obvious. Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common arthritic disease (after osteoarthritis). It typically affects joints of the fingers, wrist, feet and hips. Treatment for pain, inflammation and for restricted movement in the affected areas is by use of anti-inflammatory drugs; physiotherapy may help to preserve joint movement.
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