Thursday, 20 Feb 2020

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Dinosaur Arthritis

The recent edition of Science has an interesting article on the cause of death in a dinosaur - septic arthritis.

Palentologists have unearthed a 70 million year old duck-billed dinosaur near New Jersey and found that the arm bones were not quite right.  

The radius and an ulna were partially fused, highly fragile and decaying. Imaging found evidence of erosions, areas of new bone growth and spurs leading them to consider gout, osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. 

They surmised that septic arthritis was most likely based on the patterns of bone growth. Importantly, this is the first dinosaur diagnosed with septic arthritis.

It appears there was a shortage of rheumatologists 70 million years ago. Moreover, we can now add dinosaurs and New Jersey swamps as potential risk factors for septic arthritis.

(Kudos to Dr. Artie Kavanaugh for suggesting this publication)


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