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Symmetrical polyarthritis is not always rheumatoid.

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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Education
  • Medicine

Abstract

.org Page ( 1 ) AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specifi c orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS “Find an Orthopaedist” program on OrthoInfo.org. Copyright ©1995-2013 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Arthritis of the Wrist Arthritis aff ects millions of people in the United States. Simply defi ned, arthritis is infl ammation of one or more of your joints. A joint is where the ends of bones meet. Infl ammation causes swelling, pain, and stiff ness in the joint. A signifi cant number of people have arthritis in their wrists and hands, which makes it diffi cult for them to do daily activities. Description Although there are hundreds of kinds of arthritis, most wrist pain is caused by just two types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive condition that destroys the smooth articular cartilage covering the ends of bones. Healthy joints move easily because of articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis causes this cartilage to wear away. When the bare bones rub against each other, it results in pain, stiff ness, and weakness. Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that attacks multiple joints throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis o� en starts in smaller joints, like those found in the hand and wrist. It is symmetrical, meaning that it usually aff ects the same joint on both sides of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system attacks its own tissues. In RA, the defenses that protect the body from infection instead damage normal tissue (such as cartilage and ligaments) and so� en bone. RA o� en aff ects the joint between the two bones of the forearm, the radius an

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