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Broken leg. Coloured X-ray showing multiple fractures (lower centre) to the lower leg. Both the tibia (the thicker bone, at centre) and the fibula have been broken. Here, the breaks are severe and the bones have become badly misaligned. In cases like this fractures are repaired by a surgical operation performed under anaesthesia. The bone ends are realigned and immobilized, sometimes with metal pins or plates, to allow the broken pieces to reunite firmly. In an adult a weight-bearing bone such as the tibia may take up to six months to knit together completely.
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