Lumbosacral and Spinopelvic Anatomy and Pathology - Spinal Canal, Foramina, L5-S1 Disc

Axial section through the spinal canal and foramina of the L5-S1
Axial section through the spinal canal and foramina of the L5–Sl disc of a 65–year–old man who had had occasional mild low back pain without radicular symptoms. The disc is severely degenerated, the normal texture of the annular lamellae is replaced by a light–colored amorphous mass that contrasts with the dark–brown outermost annulus fibrosus. Under the outer annulus brown degenerative vacuoles are seen. The spinal canal is occupied by pink–colored fat in which the thecal sac is embedded. The dura is connected in the midline to the disc by a thin sagittal fibrous septum. The disc bulges excentrically to the right and abuts the superior articular process of the sacrum, obliterating the foramen completely. The right SI root lies between the disc and the ligamentum flavum joint capsule and is slightly deformed and displaced medially. Note also cystic degenerative changes in the thickened ligamentum flavum. The posterior bony elements are light in color due to fatty degeneration of the bone marrow.

©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Academic University Hospital
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Uppsala, Sweden
Reproduction without permission is prohibited
http://www.akademiska.se/
Updated on: 02/01/10
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