JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured X-ray of the feet of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. 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. The grey areas show regions of erosion of the metatarsal bones. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy.
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