ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slipped disc. Coloured frontal computed tomography (CT) scan of a section through the lumbar spine of a 44-year-old patient with severe paralysing sciatica caused by a slipped (herniated) spinal disc (centre). Sciatica is pain that extends from the lower back down the leg. It is most often caused by a herniated disc pressing on one of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots. In this case, it is compressing the nerve root to such an extent that it has completely blocked nerve signals from passing along it, causing paralysis.
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