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What is disc decompression?

Gary E. Kraus, MD
Neurosurgery
Intervertebral discs are shock absorbers which act as cushions between the vertebral bodies of the spine.  When an intervertebral disc is injured (either through trauma or a chronic aging process), the outer walls of the disc, known as the annulus fibrosis, begin to crack, and the inner soft material, known as nucleus pulposus, may begin to extrude between the outer fibers of the annulus. When the disc ruptures entirely out of the disc space, it may compress upon nerves. This may cause pain in the extremities that are supplied by these nerves.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Disk decompression involves inserting a fine tube into a spinal disk to draw out part of the gel center, the nucleus pulposus. The gel center can bulge out of a slipped or herniated disk and press on a spinal nerve, causing persistent pain.  Watch the video to learn more about disk decompression.


 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.