Osteoarthritis of the spine, MRI

Osteoarthritis of the spine, MRI

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Osteoarthritis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the spine of a 74-year-old woman with osteoarthritis. The vertebrae are closer together than healthy vertebrae due to damage to the cartilage discs between the vertebrae. The second lumbar vertebra (L2, lower centre) has suffered an osteoporotic crush, meaning that the bone has become compressed. Osteoarthritis causes joint stiffness and pain. In combination with osteoporosis, it can result in increasing fragility of the spine. It is most common in women over the age of 60. There is no cure, although symptoms can be relieved with pain- killing and anti-inflammatory drugs.

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