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Intervertebral Disc Prolapse

Dr Gulraj Matharu

Disc anatomy:

An intervertabral disc consists of a central nucleus pulposus (consists mainly of water) surrounded by the annulus fibrosis (fibrous structure consisting of mainly collagen)



Disc prolapse:

The nucleus pulposus herniates through the annulus fibrosis

This can put pressure on the spinal nerve root resulting in the symptoms of sciatica


Disc prolapse is: - common, especially in men

                            - tends to present between 35-55 years

                            - associated with heavy lifting


Prolapse can occur at any level but the commonest are L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels





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