ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic elbow. X-ray of an patient with rheumatoid arthritis in their elbow joint. The elbow joint is where the humerus (upper arm bone, left) joins with the two lower arm bones, the radius (upper right) and the ulna (centre right). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks 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 joint. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs, or in severe cases surgical elbow replacement.
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