What is a Disc Extrusion?
There are three types of herniated discs. A disc extrusion is a type of intervertebral disc herniation in which the soft material of the disc, the annulus pulposus, bulges from the disc after breaking through the fibrous outer part of the disc. The bulge can compress ligaments and nerves adjacent to the disc and cause pain. A disc extrusion is also known as a slipped disc or a prolapsed disc.
Disc protrusion describes a type of intervertebral disc herniation in which some of the soft material of the disc bulges from the disc. The disc itself remains intact, but the bulge can irritate nerves and ligaments causing pain directly adjacent to the disc.
Disc sequestration describes a herniated disc that has extruded some of the spongy contents of the disc so that it is completely separate from the disc. The contents can migrate to another location in the general area of the disc and vertebrae where it can compress nerves or narrow openings.
It is important for your surgeon to identify the location and the type of disc herniation that is causing your back pain. This information will help determine your non-surgical therapy and may help define any surgical procedures required in the future.
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