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33.5 x 19.3 cm ⏐ 13.2 x 7.6 in (300dpi)
ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slipped disc. Coloured profile (left) and frontal (right) computed tomography (CT) scans of the lumber spine of a 48 year old with a slipped (herniated) disc. The intervertebral disc above the fourth lumber vertebra (second block on the left from the bottom in profile image) has ruptured and is protruding into the spinal canal (to the right of the vertebra). 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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