Friday, August 07, 2020

BMS Logo

Glossary of Spinal Terminology

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Annulus Fibrosis:
The outer, fibrous, ring-like portion of an intervertebral disc.spine

Anterior: The front portion of the body. It is often used to indicate the position of one structure relative to another.

Anterolateral: Situated or occurring in front of and to the side.

Articular: Pertaining to a joint

Axial Pain: Pain relating to or situated in the central part of the body, in the head and trunk as distinguished from the limbs. Top of Page

Cartilage: The hard, thin layer of white glossy tissue that covers the end of bone at a joint. The tissue allows motion to take place with a minimum amount of friction.

Cervical: The neck region of the spine containing the first seven vertebrae.

Coccyx: The region of the spine below the sacrum. It is also known as the tailbone.

Collagen: A fibrous protein which is a major constituent of connective tissue, such as skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone.

Compression: The act of pressing together - refers to the loss of vertebral body height either anteriorly, posteriorly, or both.

Coronal: Refers to a section that divides the body into anterior and posterior portions.Top of Page

Disc (Intervertebral): The tough, elastic structure that is between the bodies of spinal vertebrae. The disc consists of an outer annulus fibrosus enclosing an inner nucleus pulposis.

Discectomy: Surgical removal of part or all of an intervertebral disc.

Discogenic: Caused by derangement of an intervertebral disc.

Distal: Situated away from the center of the body.Top of Page

Epidural: Situated outside the thin, tough dural membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Top of Page

Facet: A posterior structure of a vertebra which articulates with a facet of an adjacent vertebra to form a facet joint that allows motion in the spinal column. Each vertebra has two superior and two inferior facets.

Foramen: A natural opening or passage in a bone.

Fracture: A disruption of the normal continuity of the bone.Top of Page

Immobilization: Limitation of motion or fixation of a body usually to promote healing.

Inferior: Situated below or directed downward. Top of Page

Joint: The junction or articulation of two or more bones that permits varying degrees of motion between the bones. Top of Page

Lamina: An anatomical portion of the vertebra. For each vertebra, two lamina connect the pedicles to the spinous process as part of the neural arch.

Lateral: Situated away from the midline of the body.

Latrogenic: Occurring without known cause. Self-originated.

Ligament: A band of flexible, fibrous connective tissue that is attached at the end of a bone near a joint. The main function of a ligament is to attach bones to one another, to provide stability of a joint, and to prevent or limit some joint motion.

Lumbar: The lower part of the spine between the thoracic region and the sacrum. The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae.Top of Page

Medial: Situated closer to the midline of the body.

Myelopathy: A general term denoting functional disturbances and/or pathological changes in the spinal cord; the term is often used to designate non-specific lesions, in contrast to inflammatory lesions (myelitis). It can be secondary to cord compression in the cervical or thoracic spine.Top of Page

Nerve Root: The initial segment of a nerve leaving the spinal cord. Top of Page

Pedicle: The part of each side of the neural arch of a vertebra. It connects the lamina with the vertebral body.

Posterior: Located behind the structure, such as relating to the back side of the human body.

Proximal: Nearest the center of the body. Top of Page

Rotation: The movement of one vertebra to another about it's normal or abnormal coronal axis Top of Page.

Sacrum: A part of the spine that is also part of the pelvis. It articulates with the ilia at the sacroiliac joints and articulates with the lumbar spine at the lumbosacral joint. The sacrum consists of five fused vertebrae that have no intervertebral discs.

Sagittal: Refers to a lengthwise cut that divides the body into right and left portions.

Spinal Canal: The bony channel that is formed by the intravertebral foramen of the vertebrae and in which contains the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Spinal Cord: The longitudinal cord of nerve tissue that is enclosed in the spinal canal. It serves not only as a pathway for nervous impulses to and from the brain, but as a center for carrying out and coordinating many reflex actions independently of the brain.

Spine: The flexible bone column extending from the base of the skull to the tailbone. It is made up of 33 bones, known as vertebrae. The first 24 vertebrae are separated by discs known as intervertebral discs, and bound together by ligaments and muscles. Five vertebrae are fused together to form the sacrum and 4 vetebrae are fused together to form the coccyx. The spine is also referred to as the vertebral column, spinal column, or backbone.

Superior: Situated above or directed upward toward the head of an individual. Top of Page

Thoracic: The chest-level region of the spine that is located between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. It consists of 12 vertebrae which serve as attachment points for ribs.

Transverse: Refers to a cut that divides the body into superior and inferior portions. Top of Page

Vertebra: One of the 33 bones of the spinal column. A cervical, thoracic, or lumbar vertebra has a cylindrically-shaped body anteriorly and a neural arch posteriorly (composed primarily of the laminae and pedicles as well as other structures in the posterior aspect of the vertebra) that protects the spinal cord. The plural of vertebra is vertebrae. Top of Page