ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic feet. Coloured X-ray of the feet of a 72 year old patient with rheumatoid arthritis. The toe joints have become inflamed and swollen. This is polyarthritis as it affects more than one joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues, causing progressive joint and cartilage destruction. As the cartilage is worn away, new bone grows as part of the repair process. This causes stiffness and deformity of the toes. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy.
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