DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritis. X-ray of a hip joint of a 67 year old woman showing osteoarthritis. At lower right is the femur (thigh bone), which articulates with the pelvis (left/upper frame) at centre. Osteo- arthritis is a disease of joint cartilage in which the space between the bones is reduced, leading to joint pain, stiffness and a lack of mobility. It is recognised on X-rays by a reduction in the space between the two bones of the joint. Here, the femur is almost touching the pelvis; in a healthy person there would be a clear gap visible. Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men. Painkillers may relieve the symptoms. Joint replacement surgery may be used in severe cases.
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