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Neil Herring

and Robert Wilkins

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date: 01 July 2022

Rheumatology deals with the care of patients with conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, including joint, bone and muscle disease, and conditions affecting soft tissues around the joints. However, the rheumatic disorders are a diverse group of conditions that can affect many different organ systems in addition to those listed above. Broadly they can be divided into degenerative osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus), and inflammatory conditions (such as gout). This chapter uses these groups of conditions to illustrate how the immune system and inflammation can influence the normal function of connective tissue and articular surfaces.

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