Any joint can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Aggressive disease can reduce the range-of-motion of many joints. When the weightbearing joints are affected, such as the hips, knees, and ankles, mobility may be greatly impacted.
Joint erosion, which is visible on x-ray, can be severe and limiting. As the joint becomes eroded and cartilage is damaged, bone-on-bone can be the painful end result. Severe damage to cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bone can cause joints to become unstable and even deformed as rheumatoid arthritis progresses.