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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992 Dec;17(12):1457-61.

The form and structure of the extruded disc.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Klinikum Steglitz, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


There are no detailed data in literature concerning the histologic nature of the sequestered (extruded) lumbar disc, and on the frequency with which an extruded fragment, a prolapse or a protrusion are found at surgery. A prospective analysis of 100 consecutive cases of sequestered lumbar disc herniation submitted to surgical treatment revealed this group to represent 28.6% of all cases operated on for lumbar disc herniation. Patients (both male and female) with sequestered lumbar discs are significantly older than those with prolapsed (P < 0.01) and protruded (P < 0.001) discs. Single extruded fragments (n = 68) were twice as frequent as multiple ones (n = 32). The general belief that a 'sequestered (extruded) disc' is almost invariably composed of nucleus pulposus is not substantiated by this study: In 54 cases the extruded fragment consisted predominantly of nucleus material, whereas in 44 cases it consisted mainly of end-plate material. Multiple as well as recurrent sequestered fragments almost always consist of end-plate material. These findings may reflect the result of metabolic alterations in the course of disc degeneration.

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