JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prosthetic hip. Femoral component of a replacement (prosthetic) hip joint. The shaft (grey) will be placed in a hole drilled in the femur (thigh bone) and the ball will articulate with an artificial socket (not seen) placed in a cavity made in the pelvis. Prosthetic hip joints are used to replace diseased hip joints that have become stiff and painful as a result of arthritis or injury. Hip replacements can dramatically improve hip joint mobility, and can offer years of independence. The artificial components can loosen with time, however.
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