https://www.medilaw.tv - surgery videos, Shows a lateral and a superior cross-sectional view of a cervical inter-vertebral disc protrusion progressing to a sequestration. The nucleus pulposus degenerates, increasing pressure on the annulus fibrosus. Annulus micro-tears occur and weaken the disc wall, resulting in the nucleus pulposus protruding through the annulus fibrosus into the spinal canal. The separate sequestered disc nucleus irritates the adjacent spinal cord and nerve root.
When you sit, stand up, bend or twist, large compressive forces are applied to your spine. There are several factors that determine the ability of your inter-vertebral discs to handle these forces:
your inherited make-up
disc health -- worsened by smoking, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, weak muscles, and obesity
poor posture -- while sitting, standing and lifting
heavy loads during home, work or sporting activities.
When the forces applied to your back exceed the strength of your discs, minor injuries to the disc can occur. It is important to note these injuries may or may not hurt at the time. As the continuous stresses and repeated injuries accumulate, they cause wear and tear on the spine's discs and joints. The intervertebral discs dry up, becoming thinner and stiffer. The inner nucleus loses it soft gel-like consistency, becoming more like crab meat.
Often the posterior annulus of the inter-vertebral disc is the first area injured. Small tears occur that heal with weaker scar tissue.
As more scar tissue accumulates, the annulus becomes weaker overall. This weakness can suddenly give way and allow a bulge to form, called a disc protrusion. The inflammation from the injury or the pressure of the protrusion against the spinal cord or nerve root, irritates the nerves and surrounding structures and causes pain. Sometimes the weakness in the annulus allows a tear to occur that lets the inner nucleus push out of the disc and into the surrounding space. This is called an extruded ...