Arthritis of the spine, CT scan

Arthritis of the spine, CT scan

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Arthritis of the spine. Coloured 3D computed tomography (CT) scan of a side view of the spine of a 75 year old with osteoarthritis. The space between the second and third vertebrae (blocks) from bottom is greatly reduced at right. This puts pressure on the intervertebral discs and the spinal cord, causing great pain, stiffness and paralysis. Arthritis is associated with aging and mechanical wear and tear. Treatment is with anti- inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy. In severe cases surgery may be needed to repair the spine.

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