MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Broken leg. Coloured X-ray showing a fracture of the shin bone (tibia) of the leg. The tibia is the larger of the two bones of the lower leg, with the injury seen at centre right. Superimposed are drawn yellow lines marked 1 & 2 measuring length of each tibia bone. The fractured tibia marked 1 has lost considerable length. Treatment of fractures involves moving the broken ends into alignment, and immobilising the leg while the bones reunite. Because the tibia is a weight- bearing bone it can take up to six months to fully heal. Shortening of one limb may require a walking aid such as specialized shoes. An X-ray to measure bone length is called a topogram.
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