Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Spine and Back Health

Degenerative Disc Disease?



Would a normal healthy disc L5S1, no matter how it is stressed EVER fail by a process of Postero-Lateral Herniation?

Do you HAVE TO have Degenerative Disc Disease to begin with for this to occur?

If not, how else can it occur?

Many thanks and best regards


Hello, thank you for your question. Yes, unfortunately even a normal healthy disc can fail in the form of a herniation like you describe, though this is certainly the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of disc herniations arise in a disc that is already pretty degenerated, but there are well-documented cases of a very young person (teenager, for example) with no known disc degeneration who is involved in a significant trauma and suffers a disc herniation. This type of event normally does not happen to a normal healthy disc without some form of trauma, however. I hope this helps answer your question.

For more information:

Go to the Spine and Back Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University