BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artificial hip. Coloured X-ray of an artificial hip (pink). This prosthetic device has replaced the old hip joint. Like the natural hip joint (seen at left) it is a ball-and-socket joint. The upper 'ball' end swivels in the artificial cavity (upper right) surgically implanted into the pelvis. The other end extends down into a hole drilled into the femur (thigh bone). The new joint is made of a composite metal alloy and replaces an arthritic or injured hip. It can dramatically improve mobility for many years before the components begin to loosen.
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