JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Protruding disc in the cervical spine. Labelled artwork and corresponding sagittal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan through the cervical (neck) spine showing a protruding (slipped or herniated) disc at the C6-C7 joint, plus disc narrowing and dessication. Disc bulges are seen at the C3-C4 and C5-C6 joints. The protrusion and bulges are pressing on the spinal cord (brown). Osteophyte formation is also labelled. The front of the spine is at left. The discs of fibrocartilage between each vertebra form joints that allow the spine to bend and flex. Here caused by trauma, this spinal disc condition can cause pain and in severe cases may require surgery.
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