BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rheumatoid arthritis. Coloured X-ray of the feet of a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The twisted and swollen toes show the effect of the disease. It is the most severe type of inflammatory joint disease. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system acts against the body, damaging joints and surrounding tissues. The joints most commonly affected are those in the hands, wrists, feet, arms and hips. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling, which are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. Diseased joints that have become extremely painful or deformed may require surgery to re-model the joint or to replace it with an artificial one.
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