TIM VERNON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM VERNON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Broken backbone. Illustration of a lateral (side) view of a human spine with a break in the vertebral column (red area). The front of the spine is at right and the pelvis is at bottom. The break in the vertebral column is at the level between the eleventh and twelfth thoracic vertebrae (T11-T12). The vertebral joint has been dislocated, and the spinal cord has been severed (transected). This will usually cause paraplegia, the paralysis of the legs, leaving the patient unable to walk.
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