Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

Vertebral disc disorders

Conditions relating to the elastic discs of cartilage between the spinal vertebrae. The spinal column derives its flexilibity from these discs. These disorders are frequently accompanied by vertebral conditions. They usually lead to a restriction in the mobility of the spinal column and are often combined with pain. The best-known vertebral disc condition is dorsal hernia (slipped disc). In this condition, the softer core of the disc protrudes into the spinal canal, and as a result pressure is applied to the nerves. This leads to pain, and loss of function can arise. Hernia occurs mainly between the lowest lumbar vertebrae and is usually caused by placing an undue load on the spinal column, specifically the vertebral discs. Surgery is often required. Spondylosis is a condition in which the tissue of the intervertebral discs decays, and finally the vertebrae also become damaged. The mobility of the spinal column is reduced. The condition is comparable with arthritis (wear and tear of the joints) in other joints of the body. Spondylitis is an inflammation of one or more vertebrae and vertebral discs. The inflammation can be caused by pathogens such as tuberculosis bacilli. However, it is usually a rheumatic condition. Bekhterev’s disease is an example of this. In spondylolisthesis, one vertebra slips away from the one underneath it. Usually the lowest lumbar vertebra slides away from the sacrum. This condition is the result of a defective neural arch – the portion of the vertebra which surrounds the spinal canal. The lumbar vertebra slides forwards and causes intense pain by pressing against the hip nerve. A characteristic feature is the tightrope-walking gait adopted by these patients in order to avoid painful movements of the pelvis. In spondylolisthesis, the vertebrae can be fixed to one another by an operation (spondylodesis).

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