ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer-enhanced X-ray of the hand of a patient with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in the loss of cartilage between joints, in this case between the joints of the finger bones. The healing process has lead to the growth of Heberden's nodes, small bony growths on the terminal phalanges of the fingers. The nodes cause inflammation and pain, and often skew the fingertips. Treatment is with painkilling drugs.
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