What is a Disc Tear?

Before describing what a torn disc is and its effects on the body, it's necessary to first understand the physical makeup of a vertebral disc and its functions. The two main parts of the vertebral disc are the annulus fibrosis and the nucleus pulposus. The Annulus is the tough outer shell that contains the nucleus, a soft gel like substance called the nucleus pulposus. There is a disc located between each of our vertebrae in the spine providing us with stability, and also acting like a shock absorber.

Watch this video to learn more about a Disc Tear.

The Difference between a Healthy Disc and a Disc Tear

A healthy disc is composed of a tough outer shell and a soft inner material called the nucleus pulposus. When a disc tears, the tough outer shell either cracks or tears allowing the inner material to seep through, causing painful disc tear symptoms.


What Is a Torn Disc?

A torn disc generally refers to a tear in the annular tissue (the outer layer of the spinal disc). A disc tear is typically caused by a combination of disc degeneration and trauma. When this combination occurs, the central disc material (nucleus) often moves into the torn area of the outer layer of the disc, forming an interpositional disc herniation. A torn disc can also escalate in severity when a portion of this nucleus seeps through the tear leading to a herniated disc.

One of the easiest ways to understand a torn disc is to picture a jelly donut. The jelly inside would be the nucleus, while the donut exterior would be the annulus. As the donut starts to get stale and dry up little cracks begin to form, and once these cracks tear, some of the jelly seeps into and eventually through the tear. Although a torn disc is technically a little more complicated than this, this is the basic concept behind it.

Have you been diagnosed?

Have you been diagnosed with a Disc Tear?

Here’s What You Can Do:

Get a second opinion or Disc Tear treatment options online with a virtual consultation.


Visit any of our conveniently located clinics to go over your condition one-on-on.


Have a question regarding Disc Tear We’d be happy to answer them.

Here’s What You Can Do:

Use our Pain Evaluation Tool to get a preliminary diagnosis online.


Go over your symptoms & any tests with a doctor in a virtual consultation.


Visit any of our conveniently located clinics to go over your symptoms one-on-one.

Here’s What You Can Do:

Use our Pain Evaluation Tool to get a preliminary diagnosis online.


Go over your symptoms & any tests with a doctor in a virtual consultation.


Visit any of our conveniently located clinics to go over your symptoms one-on-one.

Upcoming
Spine Seminar


  • Learn the facts on the advantages of true minimally invasive procedures.
  • May 24 - 5:00PM
  • Edison, NJ
See Event Details

Related Blog Posts:

Endoscopic spine procedures can be used to correct many of the conditions that cause chronic back pain or to repair failed previous surgeries.

- Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD President, Atlantic Spine Center Read More about Dr.Liu
Dr. Liu

You're Invited!

On Thursday May 24th Atlantic Spine Center is holding a FREE Spine Seminar at:

May
24
5:00 PM
Learn The Facts On The Advantages Of True Minimally Invasive Procedures.

2163 Oak Tree Road, Suite 110, Edison, NJ 08820
Edison, NJ

more seminar dates

Here are the Top 3 reasons you should attend:

1Meet one-on-one with top surgeons and receive a free MRI review at the seminar


2Listen to success stories from patients who used to deal with chronic back and neck pain


3Enjoy complimentary food and beverages