Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) typically affects your body in many different ways. Most commonly joints are impacted. The areas in a joint that can be damaged are:
- Synovium -a thin, delicate lining in joints that helps synthesize lubricants and collagens that form the structural framework of the joint. A normal synovial lining is 1 - 3 cells thick. In RA joints, this lining grows abnormally thick (also referred to as hypertrophied) to 8 - 10 cells, contributing to bone and cartilage erosion.
- Cartilage - normally a very strong tissue, RA damages cartilage the make-up of cartilage allowing the inflammation to reach bone.
- Bone - due to inflammation and loss of cartilage, erosion of bone in the joints is common among people with RA.
- Synovial Cavity - in RA the area around the joint may hold large collections of fluid (known as effusions).