The most common disc injury is a small crack or micro tear in the tough (outer fibers of the disc), outer cartilage material of the disc called annular fibers. This allows the fluid to start leaking out, and the disc begins to wear thin.
The soft jeliy-like material in the middle of the disc pushes to one side, forward or backward, and swelling occurs. The nucleus is still contained within the tough outer fibers of the disc, but can still cause pressure and painful symptoms.
The disc loses its fluid content and degenerates down to a rough, worn-down or worn-out appearance. This occurs as the bones begin to fuse to each other. While the inter-vertebral disc is a common culprit in spine-related health problems, its function is widely misunderstood.
The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jelly- like center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal turning and bending.
Discs can bulge, herniated(Slipped) or rupture, resulting in other problems. Diagnostic imaging can reveal degenerative changes to the disc and surrounding tissues.
The soft jelly-like material from the nucleus in the middle of the disc ruptures through the tough, outer fibers and extends to the outer edge or beyond the normal limits of the disc.
A piece of disc material separates away and becomes a fragment or a free-floating piece.