BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritis. Coloured X-ray of a hip joint showing osteoarthritis. The pelvis (upper left) and top of the femur (thigh bone, lower right) are seen. The head of the femur is almost touching the socket in the pelvis, and is especially near in the area highlighted pink (upper left). A normal joint has a clear space between the ball of the femur and the socket of the pelvis. This narrowing of joint space is due to the loss of cartilage during osteoarthritis, caused by mechanical wear. Deterioration of the joint, seen mainly in the elderly, causes pain and lack of mobility. Treatment is with painkillers, but hip replacement surgery is performed in serious cases.
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