JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rickets. Illustration of a cross section through the tibia (left) and fibula bones of the lower leg showing the signs of rickets - a bone disorder in which growing bones fail to mineralise properly, causing bowing of the legs. The ragged blue band across each bone is the epiphyseal plate, a layer of cartilage between growing parts of the bone. Above and below the epiphyseal plates are areas of unmineralised bone matrix (osteoid) invaded by blood vessels. Normal bone is yellow. Disorderly columns of cartilage cells appear in the lower tibia. Rickets is usually caused by lack of vitamin D and is rare in developed countries.
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