DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritis. Image 2 of 2. Coloured X-ray of the hip joint (centre) of a 70 year old man with osteoarthritis. The pelvis is at top and right, the femur (thigh bone) is at bottom left to centre. The ball at the top of the femur fits into the socket of the hip. In a healthy individual there is usually a clear space between the ball and socket, but this joint shows little or no space. There is also a decrease in bone density (white patches). Osteoarthritis results in the loss of cartilage between the joint. The healing process leads to the growth of bone in place of the cartilage, causing pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. Treatment is with the surgical replacement of the joint. For an image showing the state of the joint 5 years earlier, see M110/627.
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