JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slipped discs in the cervical spine. Labelled axial and sagittal artworks and corresponding sagittal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan through the cervical (neck) spine showing slipped (herniated) discs. These are at the C4-C5 (upper centre), C5-C6 (centre left) and C6-C7 (lower centre) joints. These three herniated discs are pressing on cervical nerves (bilateral foraminal encroachment) and the spinal cord (thecal sac flattening at C4-C5 and anterior cord flattening at C5-C6 and C6-C7). The discs of fibrocartilage between each vertebra form joints that allow the spine to bend and flex. Spinal disc herniation can cause pain and in severe cases may require surgery.
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