MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pinned broken leg, coloured X-ray. The patient's femur (thigh bone) has been surgically immobilised by inserting metal pins, one down the length of the femur and the other into the neck of the femur at the hip joint, and screwing them to the bone. This is known as internal fixation. It is important a bone is correctly aligned if it is to heal properly and avoid future complications. It can take up to six months for a femur to heal, as it is a weight-bearing bone.
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