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Arthritis of the spine, CT scan

Arthritis of the spine, CT scan

F001/0632

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Credit

ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Arthritis of the spine. Coloured profile computed tomography (CT) scan of the spine of a 68 year old with cervical osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. The front of the body is at left. Several of the vertebrae (orange blocks) have become compacted. Osteoarthritis damages the cartilage between the vertebrae, moving them close together. As the cartilage is worn away new bone grows, a process known as osteophytosis. This limits the flexibility and movement of the neck. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, and in severe cases, surgery.

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