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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic type of inflammatory joint arthritis.

It most commonly affects younger females and may cause very severe deformities of the hands and feet, although many other joints may be involved. Early diagnosis and treatment prior to the development of deformities is important. Deformities are usually symmetrical with involvement of both the left and right feet.

Early on drug management should be instituted to avoid the severe deformities that may ensue and evaluation by a rheumatologist needed.

Surgery is indicated for the deformities, particularly bunions and hammertoes, that develop later in the course of the disease and makes wearing shoes difficult.