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49.5 x 25.4 cm ⏐ 19.5 x 10.0 in (300dpi)
JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Annuloplasty procedure on damaged disc. Labelled artwork and X-ray of a surgical procedure called an intradiscal thermal annuloplasty (IDTA), carried out to treat a painful damaged spinal disc. The fibrocartilage disc forms part of a joint in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine (spinal nerves shown in yellow). At right is a view from above, while at left is an X-ray with the spine running vertically down centre. An electrode (catheter coil) is inserted through the disc's outer ring (annulus fibrosus) into the central part of the disc (nucleus pulposus) using a needle, and then heated to coagulate and destroy the tissue and nerve endings causing the pain.
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