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Spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery

C003/6374

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Credit

MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Spinal fusion surgery. Surgical incision in the back of a patient affected by scoliosis (curvature of the spine) undergoing spinal fusion. In this procedure, sections of bone (upper and lower centre) harvested from from one of the patient's ribs have been grafted to the vertebrae (centre) so that when it heals they form one solid bone mass. This causes the vertebral column to become rigid, holding it straight. The procedure prevents worsening of the curve at the expense of spinal movement.

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