Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammation of the membranes or tissues lining the joints. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis may destroy the joint tissues, including cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone, and, in rare but severe cases, may cause organ damage.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
Medicine may help control rheumatoid arthritis or prevent the disease from getting worse, which can reduce the risk of permanent disability. Surgery may be needed for severely deformed joints.
Last Revised: June 11, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
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