This exhibit depicts the superior anatomy of a cervical vertebra with degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease is the process of intervertebral disc degradation as a result of age or injury. Over time, the disc dehydrates causing the annulus to crack or tear. The soft inner nucleus stiffens and reduces shock absorption. This can be asymptomatic, or lead to painful complications such as: disc bulge, disc herniation, and osteoarthritis.