Disc extrusion

Disc extrusion is a type of intervertebral disc herniation and is distinguished from a disc protrusion in that it:

  • in at least one plane, has a broader dome (B) than a neck (A)
  • extends above or below the disc level (into the suprapedicular or infrapedicular zone)

It is associated with a defect in the annulus fibrosus which allows herniation of nucleus pulposus beyond the confines of the disc. Depending on imaging method, the distinction between extrusion and protrusion may be difficult, in such cases, the general expression "disc herniation" may be used. 

Extrusion can be in any axial direction and may migrate either superiorly or inferiorly. If the extrusion migrates but becomes separated from the rest of the herniation it is known as a disc sequestration.


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