GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Total hip replacement. Coloured frontal X-ray of the right leg and pelvis bones of a female patient, showing a hip replacement. The replacement hip consists of a ball and shaft (white), embedded in the femur (thigh bone, running up from bottom centre). The ball can move freely in its prosthetic socket (upper centre) in the pelvis (top right). The shaft and socket are held in place by acrylic cement. The majority of hip replacements are a result of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that results in the loss of cartilage between the joint and the growth of bone in place of the cartilage. This causes pain, stiffness and loss of mobility.
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