SPRINGER MEDIZIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPRINGER MEDIZIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slipped intervertebral disc. Computer artwork of a side view of the vertebral column in a case of a slipped (herniated) disc. The intervertebral discs (pink) are pads of cartilage that sit between the bony blocks (vertebrae) that make up the backbone. One of these discs (red) has ruptured, causing material to protrude outwards and place painful pressure on the spinal cord (right, yellow). The two vertebrae either side of the slipped disc are a transparent blue to show the location of the spinal cord. The rear of the backbone and its bony processes is at right. Slipped discs can heal with rest, but severe cases can require surgery.
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