Health and Health Conditions


Hernias of the Abdominal Wall

The human body is divided into various compartments such as the thorax (chest), abdomen, skull, etc. The word hernia is derived from the Latin word for "rupture," and occurs when an organ normally contained in one of these cavities protrudes through the lining of that cavity. The term hernia is therefore very broad, as hernias can occur almost anywhere in the body. For example, a protrusion of an intervertebral disk of the spine into the spinal canal is called a herniated or ruptured disk; a protrusion of brain tissue, usually because of a head injury, through a natural opening at the base of the skull (called the foramen occipitalis) is referred to as an Uncal hernia. However the vast majority of hernias involve the abdominal cavity and therefore this article will concentrate specifically on this type of hernia.

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