Sagittal closeup of a fresh, traumatic
disc herniation in the cervical spine of a 23–year–old male who was
killed in a car accident. The forensic autopsy revealed fractures of
the face and skull base, but no apparent abnormality of the cervical
spine. Plain antero–posterior, lateral, and oblique radiograms of
the specimen were normal. The slide shows a large nucleus pulposus
herniation through a wide, transverse rupture of the posterior
annulus fibrosus at its insertion into the apophyseal ring of C5.
Above and below the disc fragment the venous sinuses are enlarged
and engorged. The thecal sac at the level of the disc herniation is
emptied of CSF and pushed posteriorly against the lamina. The
anterior aspects of the dura and of the spinal cord are indented.
The discs above and below this level also showed small ruptures of
the posterior annulus fibrosus.
©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
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