ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal fusion surgery for broken back. Coloured sagittal computed tomography (CT) scan of the thoracic and lumbar (dorsolumbar) spine of a 40-year-old man who has been operated on to repair a broken back. The rear of the body is at right. Metal plates and rods (black) have been inserted to fix (fuse) the broken vertebrae. This is intended to trigger arthrodesis, where the vertebrae will fuse together. The affected area of the spine is between the T9 and L3 vertebrae. The fracturing is concentrated mostly in the region between the T12 and L1 vertebrae (centre).
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