SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Knee replacement. Coloured X-ray of the knee of a 38-year-old woman seen from the side, showing knee replacement implants (white/blue). The implants replaced the cartilage on the ends of the bones (brown) in the joint. Healthy cartilage reduces friction between the bones, but this patient's cartilage had wasted away due to osteoarthritis, causing pain and immobility. The implants are attached to the top of the tibia (shin bone, lower frame) and to the bottom of the femur (thigh bone, upper frame). The patella (kneecap, centre right) is also seen. Knee replacements are not often used in the young, as they do not restore full movement and cannot withstand vigorous activity.
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