Stapled toe fracture

Stapled toe fracture

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stapled toe fracture. Shape memory metal staple (blue) in the fractured big toe of a ballerina. A composite of the X-ray and the ballerina's foot in her dancing shoe is at right. Memory metals are alloys made of aluminium or copper along with nickel and titanium. Once manufactured in a certain shape the metal may be deformed with little effort, but its plastic-like nature means that it quickly regains its shape once released. Here, the staple is trying to return to its original shape (red), thereby holding the two parts of the fractured phalanx bone together as they heal.

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Keywords: alloy, ballerina, bone, broken toe, condition, dancer, dancing shoe, disorder, foot, fracture, healthcare, injury, medical, medicine, memory metal, phalanx, shape memory metal, staple, stapled, toe, toe fracture, x-ray, xray

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