55.0 MB (5.0 MB compressed)
2736 x 7024 pixels
23.1 x 59.4 cm ⏐ 9.1 x 23.4 in (300dpi)
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pinned curved spine. Coloured X-ray of bones of the spine and pelvis of a 49 year old woman showing two screws (blue) pinning the lower lumbar vertebra (L5) to the sacrum of the pelvis. This serves to secure the curved spine and immobilise it at its joint with the pelvis. Vertebrae are the box-like bones making up the spine that protect the spinal cord and support the body. However, curvature (scoliosis) weakens the spine and in severe cases must be treated in this way. The cause may be osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) common in post-menopausal women, in which the bones lose density and may crumble - in the spine this can cause curvature. Rib bones are seen at upper frame.
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