Slipped disc in the lumbar spine

Slipped disc in the lumbar spine

C021/0257 Rights Managed

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Credit: JOHN T. ALESI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Slipped disc in the lumbar spine. Combined artworks and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans through the lumbar (lower back) spine showing a slipped (herniated) disc (L5-S1 joint). The axial view (left) shows a disc fragment (caudal migration) and the disc's pulpy interior (nucleus pulposus) extruding through the damaged outer ring (annulus fibrosus) to press on the cauda equina and spinal nerve roots. Both axial and sagittal (right) views show the large posterior disc herniation. The fibrocartilage discs between each vertebra form spinal joints that bend and flex. Disc herniation can cause pain and in severe cases may require surgery.

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