ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hands. X-ray of the hands of a 72 year old patient with rheumatoid arthritis. The wrist and finger joints have become inflamed and swollen. 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 fingers. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy.
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