How does rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cause limitation of motion?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Limitation of motion occurs as a result of articular surface damage, joint and tendon sheath swelling, or alteration of joint supporting structures. Effusion may limit joint motion through pain or by causing sufficient tightness of the joint capsule to impede joint mobility. Fibrosis involving tendons and muscles may limit normal joint motion and result in flexion contractures. Joint deformities and subluxations invariably limit motion because of mechanical factors.

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