rheumatoid arthritis noun
medical : a serious disease that continues to become worse over a long period of time and that causes the joints to become very painful, stiff, and swollen
: a usually chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized especially by pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and sometimes destruction of joints
First Known Use of RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
rheumatoid arthritis noun (Medical Dictionary)
: a usually chronic disease that is considered an autoimmune disease and is characterized especially by pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and sometimes destruction of joints—abbreviation RA; called also atrophic arthritis; compare osteoarthritis
rheumatoid arthritis noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Chronic, progressive autoimmune disease causing connective-tissue inflammation, mostly in synovial joints. It can occur at any age, is more common in women, and has an unpredictable course. It usually starts gradually, with pain and stiffness in one or more joints, then swelling and heat. Muscle pain may persist, worsen, or subside. Membrane inflammation and thickening scars joint structures and destroys cartilage. In severe cases, adhesions immobilize and deform the joints, and adjacent skin, bones, and muscles atrophy. If high-dose aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs do not relieve pain and disability, low-dose corticosteroids may be tried. Physical medicine and rehabilitation with heat and then range-of-motion exercises reduce pain and swelling. Orthopedic appliances correct or prevent gross deformity and malfunction. Surgery can replace destroyed hip, knee, or finger joints with prostheses. There is also a juvenile form of the disease.
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