ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritis of the knee. Coloured 3D computed tomography (CT) scan of the right knee of a 65 year old patient with severe osteoarthritis. At top is the femur (thigh bone), at bottom is the tibia (shinbone), with the smaller fibula to its right. The patella (knee cap) is at left. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease caused by mechanical wear and tear. In a normal knee, a clear space should be seen between the femur and patellar. Osteoarthritis has led to the loss of the smooth joint surface, and of the separating cartilage. Treatment is with painkillers, or surgery in extreme cases.
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