DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic knee. X-ray of the knee of a 65 year old female patient with osteoarthritis. At top is the femur (thigh bone). The patella (kneecap) protruding from the right of the base of the femur. At bottom centre is the tibia (shin bone), with the fibula to its left. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease caused by mechanical wear and tear. In a normal knee a clear space should be seen between the patella and the femur. Osteoarthritis has lead to the loss of cartilage in the joint. As the cartilage is worn away, new bone grows as part of the repair process. This causes stiffness and deformity of the joint. Treatment is with anti- inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy. In severe cases the joint may be replaced with a prosthetic knee.
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