PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Knee replacement surgery. Surgical team performing a total knee replacement operation. The kneecap has been moved aside to expose the knee joint. The end of the thigh bone (femur) is visible (white) and the surgeon is drilling into it. A component of the prosthetic joint will be fixed to the end of the femur, and aligned with the other component fixed to the end of the shinbone (tibia), forming an artificial knee joint. Knee joints need replacing when the protective cartilage that lines them is lost. Cartilage can be lost due to injury or arthritis.
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