Case courtesy of Dr Frank Gaillard, <a href="http://radiopaedia.org/">Radiopaedia.org</a>. From the case <ahref="http://radiopaedia.org/cases/normal-hand-radiographs">Normal hand radiographs</a>
Please note: these images are not intended for diagnostic purposes
Interpretation of X-ray images is a job for highly skilled radiologists. However, the images below can give you some idea of what is happening to the joints in the two commonest forms of arthritis.
In RA as the disease attacks the joints, and the joint space between the bones narrows, the bone underlying the cartilage is eroded (see arrows).
In OA as the cartilage of the joint is damaged new bone forms around the edges of the joint, forming spurs (arrowed) known as osteophytes.
Normal young adult hand
(Case courtesy of Dr Frank Gaillard, <a href="http://radiopaedia.org/">Radiopaedia.org</a>. From the case <a href="http://radiopaedia.org/cases/rheumatoid-arthritis-hands-2">Rheumatoid arthritis - hands</a>