Slipped disc, MRI scan

Slipped disc, MRI scan

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Credit: SOVEREIGN, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Slipped disc. Coloured frontal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the lumbar spine showing a slipped (herniated) disc (orange, lower centre). A contrast medium has been injected into the intervertebral discs below the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. The upper disc is normal, but the lower disc has ruptured and is protruding into the spinal canal. This puts pressure on the nerves running along the canal and can result in severe pain and paralysis. Treatment is with physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs, although surgery may be needed in extreme cases.

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