CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hand. Coloured X-ray image of rheumatoid arthritis in the hand of a 60 year old man. The swollen joints have deformed the finger bones (in upper frame), bending them away from the thumb (at far left). The metacarpals of the palm are at centre and the carpals of the wrist are in lower frame. Rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common arthritic disease after osteoarthritis, is caused by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues. It typically affects finger, wrist and toe joints. Treatment for pain, inflammation and restricted movement is with anti-inflammatory drugs. Physiotherapy may help to preserve joint movement.
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