PETER GARDINER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER GARDINER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoarthritis of the hips. Artwork of a woman's pelvis showing osteoarthritis of the hip joints. The hips are ball-and-socket joints. The sockets are cup-shaped cavities in the pelvic bones (ear-shaped), which the balls, at the head of the femurs (thigh bones, bottom right and left) fit in to. In a healthy individual there is usually a clear space between the ball and socket, but these joints show no space. 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.
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