DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritis. X-ray of the neck of a 79 year old woman with osteoarthritis. At upper centre, the healthy cervical (neck) vertebrae (spinal bones) are well spaced and smooth edged. The arthritic lower vertebrae are closer together and have rough and ragged edges. This makes the neck stiff and painful. Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that affects most people over the age of 60. More women than men are severely affected. It causes the cartilage between bones to break down, and also causes osteophytes (bony growths) to develop on the bones. There is no cure, although symptoms can be relieved with painkilling and anti- inflammatory drugs, and physiotherapy.
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