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Nancy Back Before
25 months ago, Nancy’s back looked like this.  The white thing being pinched off behind her backbone is her spinal cord.

24 months ago, and now, her back looks like this:
Nancy Back After scan
The L4/L5 joint has been fused, and the L5/S1 disk was trimmed slightly.

Nancy Back After  Appliance Side
Hardware was used to join the fused disks.

Nancy Back After Appliance Top
The hardware was attached with coarse-threaded stainless steel screws.

P1040892
Here is a simulation of the surgery using Sperm Whale vertebra.  You can clearly see that the disk has been removed in the upper joint and the disk is diseased in the lower joint.

P1050071 (2)
In these dolphin vertebra you can see the function of the disks. You can also see how they can become detached or otherwise deformed, especially after laying around in the sun for awhile.

P1050070
This alternate view of a dolphin vertebra clearly shows the channel for the spinal cord.  This channel does not exist in a sperm whale.  We can only assume the great distances from the sperm whale head to the sperm whale tail has forced the larger whale to use a distributed control system, with special tail-control, flipper-control, and internal-organ-control systems mounted locally.

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