DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pinned spine. Coloured X-ray of wires joining the lower vertebrae of a 50 year old man to immobilise them. Bones of the pelvis are seen at bottom right and bottom left. Normally the vertebrae, the blocks of bone that make up the spine, are separated by spongy intervertebral discs, which impart flexibility. However, the disc between the pinned vertebrae was removed because it was herniated (a slipped disc) and putting pressure on the nerves running through the spine. The vertebrae were also immobilised to prevent any further damage to the spine.
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