STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritic knee cartilage. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cartilage from the knee of a patient suffering from osteoarthritis. This disease causes the wasting of the cartilage that normally reduces friction between moving bones. The surface of the cartilage has become roughened and cracked, making it less effective at lubricating the joint. This results in pain and stiffness. Painkilling drugs can treat the pain, and weight loss reduces pressure on the joints. In serious cases the knee joint may be replaced surgically. Magnification unknown.
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