Tatum O’Neal Shares Graphic Photo Of Back Scars As She Details Debilitating Battle With Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Oscar-winning actress gets candid with her fans with a shocking new photo.

Tatum O'Neal attends the God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness premiere on March 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Jesse Grant / Getty Images

The Oscar-winning actress gets candid with her fans with a shocking new photo.

Tatum O’Neal is sharing photos that illustrate her battle with rheumatoid arthritis. The Oscar-winning actress, 56, shared graphic photos of her back covered with bruises and surgery scars as she detailed what it is like to live with the autoimmune disease.

In the caption to her bare-back pic, Tatum revealed scars on her right hip and a back surgery scar from eight years ago. She noted that the red marks on her back are from using heating pads. Tatum also wrote that her back is actually looking better than it did.

Fans reacted to the Paper Moon star’s candid photo.

“So sorry you are dealing with such pain,” one fan wrote to Tatum.

“You’ve had a lot of hurdles in your life and I don’t know what it feels like to be in the pain you’re in but I know that you’ll find a way to get through it like a champ,” another added.

Many fans did not know that Tatum has been suffering from RA for several years. But in recent weeks, the actress’s Instagram has been filled with photos related to her disease. Earlier this month, Tatum, who is the daughter of actor Ryan O’Neal, posted a photo to Instagram that showed her hands wrapped up in fingerless gloves.

“I’ve been in some rheumatoid arthritis bull crap but finally I’m feeling a little bit better. I hate texting because my hands suck right now… so If I don’t text you back I promise it’s nothing personal. On the mend,” she wrote in the caption of the black-and-white pic.

Last month, Tatum shared a photo of a prescription medication called Actemra, a drug used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. In her Instagram post, Tatum wrote that she was on her second dose of the drug.

In 2016, Tatum told The Arthritis Foundation that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis “with some osteoarthritis mixed in there” when she was about 50-years-old. In the interview, she revealed that her RA seemed to come on slowly and then suddenly all at once. When she began to have difficulty walking, she knew something was really wrong. A rheumatologist diagnosed RA and an MRI showed that she had damage in her ankles.

Tatum added that she won’t allow herself to fall into a depression over her condition.

“With RA, I always try to go to a place of hope,” she said. “I’ve got to get ahead of it. I have a young spirit and want to be able to do anything in the world that I want to do. I want a long, healthy life.”

Tatum O’Neal has been an open book with her fans. In addition to detailing her past drug battle, in 2018 she opened up about being sexually assaulted when she was age 15.