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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation and damage to the joints. It is often a progressive condition that starts in the hands and feet, mostly usually in the wrist and knuckles, before spreading to other joints in the body. A joint is formed at the junction of two articulating bones. The end of each bone is covered with cartilage, a smooth, slippery coating that protects the bones as they slide across each other. Around the joint is a strong membrane that encloses the joint parts in a capsule. The capsule has a thin, membranous lining, the synovium, which secretes synovial fluid to lubricate and provide nutrients to the cartilage. Outside the capsule are ligaments and tendons that keep the bones in their proper alignment.

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