Rheumatoid Arthritis

BONE & JOINT DISORDERS (ARTHRITIS)

 

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS – INTRODUCTION

 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of function and deformity in the joints. As it is a systemic disease, areas outside the joints may also get involved for example membranes surrounding internal organs, such as the heart, lungs or eyes.

 

Some of the unique features are:

 

  • It may begin by 25 years of age and usually before 50 years of age.
  • Involves the joints symmetrically i.e. joints on both sides of the body.
  • Usually affects the small joints of the the hand, wrist, elbow, foot or ankle.
  • Causes inflammation resulting in pain and swelling of joints where the joint is red, warm and tender.
  • May cause overall tiredness, weight loss and occasional fever.