Herniated Disc Slideshow
Facts about a Common Spinal Disorder
Degeneration, Prolapse, Extrusion, and SequestrationSlide 3
In some cases, a herniated disc occurs slowly over time. In others, it can occur suddenly. Regardless of how quickly it occurs, a weakened disc goes through a series of stages before it reaches herniation. As you can see in the drawing, a weakened disc goes through 4 stages that start with degeneration and end with herniation.
In the first 2 stages, the nucleus pulposus hasn’t yet broken through the annulus fibrosus. The third and fourth stages, however, represent complete herniations.