DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic foot of a 44 year old woman with rheumatoid arthritis. 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. The affected joints become painful and inflamed, limiting movement. There is no cure but immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory drugs may relieve the symptoms. Physiotherapy can help to keep the joints supple, and special tools may compensate for the lack of mobility.
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