disc, intervertebral

The disc, intervertebral - One of the flat, circular, platelike structures containing cartilage that line the joints between adjacent vertebrae (bones) in the spine. Each intervertebral disc is composed of a fibrous outer layer and a soft, gelatinous core.

The discs act as shock absorbers to cushion the vertebrae during movements of the spine. With increasing age, intervertebral discs become less supple and more susceptible to damage from injury; one of the most common problems is disc prolapse (“slipped” disc).


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