How Rheumatoid Arthritis Differs From Osteoarthritis

Most people with arthritis have osteoarthritis, which commonly occurs with age. There‚Äôs another type called rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a serious autoimmune disease. The two are often confused—which can be endlessly frustrating for those with RA.

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Joint deformities are more common in RA than OA. This can eventually lead to joint erosion and displacement.

The hands of RA patients can become severely deformed. Fingers undergo a characteristic deviation and can appear pulled out to the side, notes Evans.

Osteoarthritis patients are more likely to develop painful bony lumps or spurs in their fingers, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, or ankles. People with either OA or RA may need joint replacement surgery.

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