GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Broken hip. Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan of a fracture through the neck of a thigh bone (femur). This fracture, also called broken hip, is very common in the elderly and is often associated with osteoporosis, where the bones become light and brittle, making them more prone to fractures. If the broken bone ends are close the fracture heals naturally. Otherwise surgery is needed to realign the bone ends. Fracture of the neck of the femur can damage blood supply to the head of the femur (upper right), which may then crumble. If this happens the whole hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint.
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