Intervertebral disc

a person with back pain
  • Discs constitute 1/4 length of vertebral column
  • Thickest in cervical and lumbar region, where movement is greatest
  • Act as shock absorbers 
  • Loses resilience with advancing age
  • Consists of 2 parts: peripheral annulus fibrosus and central nucleus pulposus 
  • Annulus fibrosus: fibrocartilage, collagen fibres arranged in concentric layers or sheets. Peripheral fibers strongly attached to anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments 
  • Nucleus pulposus: ovoid mass of gelatinous material contains large amount of water, small collage fibre content. Situated closer to posterior margin of disc 
  • No discs between C1-2 and in sacrum and coccyx