JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laminotomy surgery on slipped disc. Labelled artwork of a posterior (rear) view of a laminotomy operation to treat a slipped (herniated) disc in the lumbar (lower back) spine. The joint being operated on here is the L5-S1 joint between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the sacrum. Fibrocartilage discs between the vertebrae form the spinal joints. A slipped disc is where the disc's pulpy interior protrudes and places pressure on the spinal nerves. Laminotomy is the removal of the lamina (thin bony plate) of the adjacent vertebra to gain access to the disc. A nerve root retractor is holding back the nerves, and a ronguer is used to remove protruding disc material.
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