Medical terms can be challenging and we know how important it is to fully understand what your physician may be telling you about your condition.
The terms to be added to this section will help you to do just that very soon.
Autograft – from one place to another on the same person. Autologous bone from the Illiac crest.
Fusion – Knitting of two adjacent bone structures; fusion is encouraged by filling the gap with cancellous, cortical or synthetic bone.
Pseudarthrosis – A defect in a bone secondary to failure of union in either a bone or bone graft.
Motion Segment – A unit of the spine representing inherent biomechanical characteristics of the ligamentous spine. Two vertebrae, the intervetebral disc and all the connecting ligaments are included in the motion segment.
Lamina – Part of the neural arch of the vertebra extending from the pedical to the median line.
Lordosis – an anterior angulations of the spine in the sagittal plane. Contrast to kyphosis.
Kyphosis – a posterior convex angulation of the spine as evaluated on a side view of the spine. Contrast to lordosis.
Disc degeneration – Loss of the structural and functional integrity of the disc.
Atlas – First cervical vertebra
Contraindication – Conditions under which a device should not be used because the risks associated with the use of the device are greater than the benefits.
Lumbar curve – a spinal curvature whose apex is between the first and the fourth lumbar vertebrae (also known as lumbar scoliosis)
Lumbosacral – pertaining to the lumbar and sacral regions of the back.
Lumbosacral curve – a lateral curvature with its apex at the fifth lumbar vertebra or below (also known as lumboscacral scoliosis)
Neurosurgery – Surgery of the nervous system that treats disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve.
Pedicle – Bony process projecting backward from the body of a vertebra, which connects with the lamina on either side
Posterior Fusion – a technique of stabilizing two or more vertebra by bone grafting
Stenosis – When a passage does not fully open; a constriction or narrowing
Ultimate load – the largest load a structure can sustain without failure.
Vertebral column – the flexible supporting column of vertebrae separated by discs and bound together by ligaments.
Vertebral tilt – Angulation in the coronal plane is measured from the lower endplate to the horizontal.
Xenograft – tissues transferred from one species to another species, ie., monkey to human
Yield stress – that point of stress on the load deformation curve at which appreciable deformation takes place without any appreciable increase in load.
Allograft – A graft between individuals of the same species but of different genotypes.
Terms that describe location and arrangement of body structures:
Anterior – ventral – toward the front of the body – also in front of
Posterior – dorsal – toward the back of the body – also in the back of
Medial – toward the midline
Lateral – away from the midline
Contralateral – situated on the opposite side
Proximal – close to the beginning or point of origin
Distal – away from the beginning or point of origin
Superior – above
Inferior – below
Cephalad – toward the head
Caudad – toward the feet – opposite of cephalad
Frontal Plane – longitudinal plane dividing front from back
Sagittal Plane – longitudinal plane dividing right from left
Transverse Plane – transverse plane dividing upper body from lower body
ectomy – surgical removal of
ostomy – surgical creation of an opening between two organs or from an organ to the outside
otomy – cutting into, temporary opening
discectomy – surgical removal of disc
laminotomy – opening into the lamina
osteo – bone