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41.1 x 30.5 cm ⏐ 16.2 x 12.0 in (300dpi)
JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laminectomy surgery on slipped disc. Labelled artwork of a view from above (right) of a slipped (herniated) disc in the lumbar (lower back) spine. At upper left is a posterior view of the incision made to operate on this L4-L5 joint. A retractor is being used to decompress the L4 nerve root, and a ronguer is being used to remove the fibrocartilage disc material that protrudes from a herniated disc to compress the spinal nerves (yellow). Laminectomy is a form of minimally invasive surgery where the lamina (thin bony plate) of a vertebra is removed to allow extraction of the protruding disc material (discectomy). This relieves the pain caused by the slipped disc.
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