The differential diagnosis of arthritis, particularly in its early stages, has long been a source of confusion for both clinician and radiologist. The problem becomes even more difficult when the principal changes are found only in the small bones and joints. The purpose of this discussion is to outline the most important roentgenologic manifestations of frequently encountered arthritic diseases affecting the hands and feet, and to summarize the differential diagnosis between the more common types. Those of infectious etiology have been purposefully omitted.
A. General Considerations.—
This is usually a disease of late middle or old age. It is undoubtedly related to trauma, more commonly affecting the larger joints where weight-bearing is essential. There are often well-advanced roentgen findings before the onset of clinical complaints.1
A less common form is the occupational type, which is seen in persons whose occupation causes them to subject a particular
SCALF RF, LING J. Noninfectious Arthritis in Small Bones and Joints: Roentgenologic Manifestations. Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(1):23–30. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620010027006
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