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Medical Terms

An online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions related to spine diseases, conditions and surgical procedures.

 

Anterior

The body’s front surface.

Articular facet

The sliding surface between two vertebrae where the bones meet.

Bone graft

The material from the patient’s body or a natural, artificial, or synthetic substitute that replaces damaged or missing bone.

Cartilage

The flexible connective tissue found in joints like the knee and ankle.

Cervical

Related to the seven vertebrae in the neck.

Chronic

Slow developing, persistent, or lasting.

Congenital

Present from birth.

Corticosteroid

Medication used to stop or lessen inflammation.

CT scan

A three-dimensional medical imaging used to diagnose patients.

Degenerative

Physically deteriorates or decreases function over time.

Disks

The elastic shock absorbers that separate the vertebrae and allow motion in the spine.

Herniated

When an organ or organ tissue sticks out of its containing structure, usually causing pain.

Hydrotherapy

Hot, mineral, or massaging water treatments for pain relief.

Intervertebral foramina

Small openings in the spine that nerves, arteries, veins, and ligaments pass through.

Ligament

The band of tissue that connects bones and organs.

Lumbar

Related to the lower five vertebrae of the spine, between the ribs and hips.

MRI

A magnetic three-dimensional medical imaging used to diagnose patients.

Neuromuscular

Related to the nerves and muscles.

Myelogram

An imaging technique that uses fluorescent dye for contrast in an X-ray or CT scan.

Scoliosis

An abnormal lateral curve of the spine.

Spinal nerve root

Where the nerves that control motor function and give sensory input branch off from the spinal cord.

Spondylolisthesis

Forward slipping of a vertebra against the vertebra below it, causing pain and compression of spinal nerve roots.

Stenosis

A arrowing of a blood vessel or other tube in the body; spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal or foramen.

Thoracic

Related to the area between the neck and abdomen, including the ribs and sternum.

Vertebrae

The bones that make up the spinal column.

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