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Monday, May 12, 2014

What is Arthritis of the Hands? Shown and Explained with Color X-Ray Images

Just like other joints in our Body, our Hands are a frequent target for Arthritis. Our hands consist of 27 bones and 15 joints. Given the amount of work performed by our hands in a life-time, these joints are an obvious source for chronic inflammation and pain. The two most common types of Arthritis affecting our hand joints are "Osteoarthritis" and "Rheumatoid Arthritis".

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis and is related to wear-and-tear as well as genetics. This is also called "Degenerative Joint Disease". Rheumatoid Arthritis is an "autoimmune" condition where our Immune System fights against our joints. The Immune system essentially believes our joints are foreign material and sends chemicals to attack them. This can cause severe inflammation and pain.

Let's first take a quick look at the Anatomy of the Hand on the Color MRI Image below. This Image is an Interactive Image with Image Tags which display text:

Color MRI Image of the Hand
Interactive Color MRI Image of the Hand. Click on the Interactive Tags to see the text.
The Image below is a Color X-Ray which shows Osteoarthritis of the Hand. Notice how the small joints towards the end of our fingers become deformed. Small bone spurs form which keep the joints from functioning properly. This causes inflammation and pain, as well as stiffness and reduced mobility.

Color Hand X-Ray showing Osteoarthritis
Color X-Ray of the Hand showing the effects of Osteoarthritis
The next Image is a Color X-Ray of the Hands which shows Rheumatoid Arthritis. Notice how some of the joints are becoming severely deformed. This can severely impair the function of the joints in the Hand creating difficulties with even simple everyday tasks.
Color Hand X-Ray of the Rheumatoid Arthritis
Color X-Ray of the Hands showing the effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis
With new treatment strategies, including new classes of Medications and Physical Therapy, most patients with Arthritis of the Hand can live a normal or near-normal life. 
If you enjoyed this Blog, here are some related subjects from recent MMI Blogs:
If you would like to learn more about Color X-Ray and Color MRI Images created by Medial Media Images, here is a Video:
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