SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis. Coloured X-ray of the hip of an 83 year old woman with a fractured femur caused by osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). The round femur head articulates with the pelvis at the hip socket (at centre). The femur is fractured at the neck (at centre left) between the head and shaft (at lower left) of the bone. Osteoporosis causes a loss in bone density, making them thinner, more brittle and more likely to fracture. The bone therefore absorbs fewer X-rays and so appears fainter on the image. Osteoporosis is most common in women after the menopause as their ovaries no longer produce the oestrogen hormones which help to maintain bone mass.
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