Herniated disc disease refers to a condition in which the intervertebral disc may herniate or rupture, allowing some of the nucleus pulposus to escape through the outer layer of the disc, the annulus fibrosus. This is typically caused by excessive tension on the disc and may be due to trauma or aging.
- 2.Sometimes there is merely an annular tear in the outer layer of the disc, in the annulus fibrosus.
This may be due to high impact sports such as gymnastics, football, and lifting or may be due to natural aging. Annular tears typically heal with scar tissue but are more prone to future tears and injury.
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) may result from trauma and aging and may begin as annular tears. Eventually this leads to the loss of the nucleus pulposus such that the vertebrae above and below approximate each other.
KeywordsBack pain Disc herniation Cauda equina syndrome MRI Neurologic exam
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