SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured X-ray (front view) of the lower back of a female patient, showing sideways curving (scoliosis) of the lumbar spine. Here, the spinous processes of the vertebral bones resemble ''staged parrot beaks''. Scoliosis is due to damage to the vertebrae and discs and may be caused by disease such as polio, arthritis or osteoporosis, or may be congenital.
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