Rheumatoid arthritis

RA; Arthritis - rheumatoid

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease. It leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks itself. The pattern of joints affected is usually symmetrical, involves the hands and other joints and is worse in the morning. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disease, involving other body organs, whereas osteoarthritis is limited to the joints. Over time, both forms of arthritis can be crippling.

Rheumatoid arthritis

The affect of rheumatoid arthritis can progress to the degree that it is crippling. Deformities distinctive to late-stage rheumatoid arthritis such as ulnar deviation of the bones of the hands, or swan-neck deviation of the fingers occur because muscles and tendons on one side of the joint may overpower those on the other side, pulling the bones out of alignment.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis. The body's own immune system attacks a joint's synovial membrane, which secretes fluid and lines the joint. The synovium becomes inflamed, produces excess fluid, and the cartilage becomes rough and pitted.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention