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What Is A Ruptured Disc?

Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr.

A ruptured disc is the final stage of a disc injury, where the outer wall of the disc tears completely through, and the jelly within the center of the disc (the Nucleus Pulposus) starts to leak outside of the wall of the disc. You may also hear this condition referred to as a Sequestered Disc.

You can see a better visual of this in the image below, but the key difference between this, a bulging disc and a herniated disc, is that the wall is completely torn (i.e. ruptured).

Ruptured Disc Animated Image

Photo Courtesy of 3D Virtual Consultation For Doctors

What Is The Prognosis For This Condition?

Because of the extent of the damage to the wall of the disc, this is typically the most difficult spinal disc condition to treat. It tends to be very stubborn when trying to heal it, and will usually respond more slowly to treatment.

I say that because, it’s very important to be realistic about what to expect with this condition. Can it heal? Yes, and current research has shown that even the part of the nucleus that leaks out of the disc will be reabsorbed by the body over time. However, it is a slow process and requires some patience.

Do You Have To Have Surgery For This Problem?

It used to be assumed that surgery is required for this condition, however, the more research that is done, the less this seems to be true. However, we’ll cover this in more detail when we discuss treatments later in this article.

So at this point in the article, we have one more diagnosis to discuss – Degenerative Disc Disease. This is the end result of wear–and–tear on the discs over time. You can either click here now, or click the Next button below to continue reading about this.

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