DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Broken ankle. X-ray of the ankle joint of a 60 year old woman showing a fractured fibula. The fibula is the thinner bone descending from top centre, superimposed on the thicker tibia (shin bone). The fracture appears as a dark crevice just above centre on the left edge of the fibula. The bones of the foot are at lower frame. Broken bones are fairly common among elderly women as their bones become brittle after the menopause due to a lack of the hormone oestrogen. Fractures such as this cause pain and severely limit joint movement, and may also be associated with torn ligaments in the area. A fracture such as this has to be set in a cast, and may take months to heal.
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