Joints and Juvenile RA

28 Apr
Joints and Juvenile RA J

Joints and Juvenile RA

 

Most people know about Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is also a Juvenile form (JRA) that affects the joints of children. It used to be known as Still’s disease, though the eponym has largely fallen away. This disease affects the joints of young children and as opposed to the adult form which begins by affecting the joints of the fingers and toes, this goes for the larger joints first. Typically there is joint pain and morning stiffness. It causes inflammation of the synovial tissues which increases blood flow to the bones in the area. This makes the bone grow faster, but also makes them fuse earlier, so they are tall thin children and short adults due to growth retardation. The synovial tissue proliferates and eats away at the bone around the joint and effectively destroys the joint tissue, similarly though less marked than the adult form. The commonest complication is eye disease which can if left untreated lead to blindness. Uncommonly it may follow the adult form and lung fibrosis may occur though this complication is late. The X-ray in this image is from an adult who had JRA as a child, who now has severe disease of the shoulder joints and fibrosis at the bases of both lungs.

The layers combined in this image are from the crimson skin of a red fruit, this is paired with a green concrete wall stained with algae, and the border is from a granite paving stone. I interposed a layer of pure white into which I cut “holes” using a masking tool, and allowed the under layer to shine through. By careful use of the Curves tool I was able to soften the colours considerably leaving a concentration of colour over the left shoulder and neck of the X-ray.

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