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Refers to short term pain or early stages of injury which lasts less than 3 to 6 months. It is distinct to chronic pain which is relatively more sharp and intense.


Front portion of the body and refers to the position of the structure relative to other.

Apical vertebra

The increasingly prominent vertebral rotation and most deformed deviated vertebrae in scoliosis.


Inflammation in joint accompanied by swelling and tenderness, pain and restricted motion


Fusion of vertebrae over joint space which occurs due to natural process or surgical procedure which limits or eliminates movement.


Any disease that occurs in the joints including instances like arthritis, blood disorder like haemologic or infection like Lyme disease.


Discipline which involves surgical reconstruction and replacement of degenerated, diseased or damaged joints.


Refers to movement of joint


Non cancerous and does not spread to other parts

Bone graft

Bone transplanted from donor to recipient to enable fusion of vertebrae while performing surgery. Grafting is done to build or enable occurance of new bone.

Bone plate

Thin metal plate made of titanium or other metal used along with bone screws that immobilizes bone for fixation of the same.

Bone screw

Threaded metal device used to immobilize bones during bone fixation or plate fixation or while fixing other medical devices.


Aid employed to support back or enable immobilization of the doctor


Thin layer of tissue that covers the end of the bone at the joint and enables motion by minimizing friction.

Cauda Equina

Bundle of nerves that begin at the end of the spinal cord and move towards the limbs.

Cauda Equina syndrome

Compression, irritation and cutting off sensation at the nerve roots in lumbar spine which results in loss of bladder and bowel function.

Cerebro spinal fluid

Clear colourless fluid within tissue around the brain and spinal cord which acts as a shock absorber.


Pertaining to the first seven vertebrae near the neck

Cervical decompression

Procedure where cervical nerve roots are freed or decompressed

Cobb Angle Measurement

Measurement done to track the progress of scoliosis by erecting perpendicular the top and bottom vertebrae of the side to side curve located above and below the apical vertebrae. The angle measured at the intersection is curve’s angle indicating severity of scoliosis.


The bottom most portion of the spine which has four or more fused bone and is also known as tail bone.


A fibrous protein which is found in the connective tissue and acts as glue that holds together the essential parts of skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones.


An instance where pressing together occurs resulting in loss of vertebral body height anteriorly, posteriorly or both.


A medical condition that occurs at or before birth which is acquired during fetal stage of development or genetic makeup of parents and is also known as birth defects.


A section that divides the body into anterior and posterior parts

Cortical bone

The dense outer surface tissue of the bone which protects the internal cavity and is also known as compact bone which consists 80 per cent of the skeletal mass. It contributes to the body structure and weight bearing capacity due to its high resistance to bending and torsion.


A procedure to minimize pain caused by pinched nerve by relieving pressure on the spinal cord on one or more compressed nerve roots passing through or exiting the spinal canal.

Demineralized bone

Bone depleted of calcium in order to make the bone issue favourable for spinal fusion whose bone morphogenic proteins are added to glycerol substrate so that bone growth is enhanced.


The tough elastic structure found between the vertebrae which comprises of outer annulus fibrosis and inner nucleus pulposus. It is part of the cartilaginous joints which acts as a shock absorber and enables movement in the spine.


An inflammation that occurs in spaces between the intervertebral discs of the spine whose swelling causes pressure leading to pain.

Disc degeneration

Loss of structural and functional integrity of the disc also known as degenerative disc disease whose damage depletes blood supply and causes chronic pain.


Removal of a part of or the entire herniated intervertebral disc through surgery by cutting out the annulus fibrosis and removing the nucleus pulposis so that pressure on the nerve root is released.


Situated away from the centre part or point of attachment like limbs, wrist joint distal to elbow joint.


Swelling that occurs when excess fluid is trapped in body’s tissues which is found in chronic degenerative disorders in the spine and is caused by inflammatory lesions in the spinal cord.

End vertebra

The vertebra end towards the head whose superior surface tilts towards the concavity of the curve which is termed as cephalad and the vertebra end towards the coccyx whose inferior surface tilts towards the concavity of the curve.


Derived from within the body


A medical instrument with a camera which is used to view internal parts of the patient’s body. It is employed during surgery done through several one inch incisions to view the inernal tissue and the operative site.

Epidural space

Located exterior to the thin tough dural membrane surrounding the brain.

Epidural injection

Refers to therapeutic spinal injection which is also used for diagnosic purposes.


Surgical procedure of removing tumour either partially or completely


Originating or derived from outside the body


Posterior part of the vertebra which articulates or joins with the adjacent vertebra to form a facet joint and thereby facilitates motion in the spinal column. Each vertebra has two superior and tow inferior facets.


Surgical removal of facet cartilage to facilitate decompression of spinal nerve root.

Fatigue fracture

A fracture in the bone or material failure of metals occurring during repeated jumping up and down and running long distances due to repeated stress or excessive cyclic loading and preceded by several micro fractures.


Replacement of normal tissue with scar tissue also termed as epidural fibrosis and is performed after back surgery and for those with continuous or repetitive leg pain


A natural opening in the bone or hollow archway which creates passage for spinal nerve roots to run and paves way for spinal nerves to exit and reach organs, muscles and sensory structures.


Union or healing of bone done using bone graft so that two vertebral bodies to grow as one long bone and terminate motion at that segment.


A living issue that is transplanted through surgery


A form of sharp angular structural kyphosis in upper lumbar and lower thoracic vertebrae where adjacent vertebrae become wedged due to spinal tuberculosis or collapse of vertebral bodies in the spine.

Herniated disc

Pushing out a part of nucleus pulposus material due to damage in annulus fibrosus where the herniated material compresses nerve around the disc and causes pain.

Heterotopic bone formation

Bone growth in abnormal location like in the soft tissue which is also known as heterotopic ossification or HO which occurs due to musculoskeletal trauma or injury in spinal cord or central nervous system.


A disease occurring due to unknown cause.


Fixing a part of the body and limiting movement in that region to promote healing process.

Internal fixation

Immobilization of bone fragments or joints with aid of implants such as metal screws and rods or plates to enable fusion or healing process.


Devices including spinal implants, devices or hardware to implant metals like titanium, titanium alloy, stainless steel or non metallic device through surgery to treat spinal instability.


A condition where blood flow is restricted in part of the body


The junction of two or more bones with varying degree of motion between the bones. Each vertebral segment is a joint that includes two vertebrae, disc and paired facet joints.


An abnormal increase in the kyphotic curve or in the upper spine which gives hunch back appearance, affects thoracic spine and results from development problems and degenerative diseases.


An anatomical part of the vertebra, or flattened or arched part of vertebral arch which forms roof of spinal canal and posterior part of spinal ring that covers spinal cord.


A surgical removal of part of or all lamina done with an aim to remove intervertebral disc protrusion or to decompress nerve root, done mostly in treatment for spinal stenosis.


Expanded as Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation where focused beam of light whose defined wavelength can vapourise tissue and operates focused region without affecting is delicate surroundings.


Located away from the body’s midline.


Band of flexible fibrous connective tissue at the end of bone near the joint which connects bones at the joint and provides stability to the joints while limiting motion.


An abnormal increase in the lordotic curve in lumbar spine.


Non medical term referring to pain in lumbar or lower back region.


Lower part of the spine between thoracic and sacrum region comprising 5 vertebrae.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

A technique which produces images of body organs with response of atomic nuclei of body tissues when subjected to high frequency radio waves in presence of strong magnetic field.


Located closer to the midline of the body

Minimally invasive surgery

Surgery performed with small incisions employing endoscopic visualization which reduces parameters such as trauma, blood loss, scarring and enhances recovery in the surgery.


Pain in spinal cord or membranes


Also known as myelography it is an x ray imaging done with the assistance of contrast dye injection injected in spinal cord to have a clear picture of nerve roots, spinal cord and soft tissues and assess them and are paired with CT scans

Nerve root

Nerve root is a part of the nerve which branches off the spinal cord and enters bony opening between adjacent vertebrae also known as vertebral arch.


Sharp pain that follows the nerve path which occurs due to nerve damage

Nucleus Pulposes

Semi-gelatinous tissue at the centre of intervertebral disc which is surrounded by annulus fibrosus which in turn prevents the former from protruding outside disc space.


Bone forming back and back part of cranium which encloses the brain.


The medical discipline which is about preserving and restoring the function of musculoskeletal system including treatment of spinal disorders and lesions in peripheral nerves.


The process of bone formation in the body


Infection in the bone which may be transmitted by blood stream or from nearby tissue. It may originate from bone through injury which exposes bone to germs.


A disorder where bone is brittle, less dense which makes the bone susceptible to diseases and abnormalities


A type of paralysis which affects mobility in lower half of the body due to injury like trauma or stroke in the nervous system which controls movement in lower half of the body.


Study of diseases which aims to analyse the nature and cause of diseases and its development and consequences by examining the specimens of affected tissue and blood.


The part of side of neural arch or stub of bone which connects lamina to vertebral body

Physical therapy

The treatment given to patients employing modalities like heat, cold, massage and ultrasound which are passive and active therapies like stretching and exercise with an aim of obtaining strength, endurance, range of motion and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal system so that functionality is improved.


Study of functioning of living organisms and that of their parts or components or explains how human body works.


Refers to something behind, like back side of the human body


Artificial body part in lieu of the original and also refers to implants used in the body like hip or knee replacement device.


Non union or failure of body union or fusion which occurs due to poor technique or planning.


Paralysis from neck to trunk, arms and legs caused by injury in spinal cord mainly at neck C5 to C7 and results in loss of mobility in arms and legs, loss in breathing, bowel and bladder control.


Painful condition of the spine, like Pott’s disease


Disease or disorder in the spine or vertebrae involving inflammation which is accompanied at a later age with complications like remodelling of centrum, endplate sclerosis and secondary disc herniation.

Referred pain

Pain experienced at a location due to origin in another location, owing to network of interconnecting nerves


An action or movement happening in the body as a reaction to something


Also known as remodelling it is breakdown of old bone in cycle of bone growth and is removal of bone tissue by osteoclasts to lay new cells by osteoblasts where calcium is released to repair bones and recover from normal wear and tear. It is a part of pathological process during infection.

Rib hump

A primary indicator of scoliosis, it is prominence of ribs in convexity of spinal curvature which happens due to vertebral rotation which is seen during forward bending


Slender metal implant used to in spinal fusion surgery mobilize and align the spine


The movement of one vertebrae to another about its normal or abnormal coronal axis or angle between longitudinal axis of vertebra and mid saggital axis of the trunk.

Ruptured disc

Also known as herniated disc, slipped disc or bulging disc, it refers to problem in rubbery cushion between the vertebrae that comprise the spine


Located at the bottom of the spine it is part of the spine with five fused vertebrae and no intervertebral discs which is also part of pelvis and articulates with ilia at sacroiliac joint and lumbar spine in lumbosacral joint.


Length wise cut of the anatomical plane which divides body into right and left parts


The pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve which is felt in the buttocks, back of the leg and the foot which occurs due to herniated disc or lumbar spinal stenosis


Sideways curvature of the spine which may develop as single C shaped curve or two curves in S shape

Spinal stenosis

Compression of spinal cord and nerve roots which occurs due to degenerative disc disease and inflammation whose symptom is sciatica

Spinal disc

Also known as inervertebral disc or plainly disc, it is tough elastic structure that is located between the vertebrae and comprised of outer annulus fibrosus which encloses inner nucleus pulposus.

Spinal column

Also known as spine it comprises 33 vertebrae which interlock to form a column interconnected by joints to facilitate motion and separated by discs to enable weight bearing and torsion capacities

Spinal fusion

Surgical procedure which employs spinal instrumentation and bone graft to join bones or vertebral bodies permanently so that spinal column is stabilized with an aim of minimizing back pain by controlling vertebral movement at a specific location

Spinal canal

The channel that is formed by the intervertebral foramen or passage of the vertebrae which comprises of spinal cord and nerve roots

Spinal cord

The cord of nerve tissue or bundle of thirty one pairs of spinal nerves enclosed by spinal canal which is pathway for nerve impulses to and from the brain and executes and coordinates reflexes independently and whose damage results in paralysis


Inflammation of the vertebrae which can cause the bones or vertebrae in the spine to fuse


Defect in the bone constructs where the vertebrae are slipped owing to spondylolysis or development defect or due to fracture.


Displacement of vertebrae due to defect in pars interarticularis which is turn is small segment vertebral arch joining facet joints of the spine. It is result of pars fracture of posterior part of vertebra which may be unilateral or bilateral due to development defect


Fibrous band of tissue that is composed of non elastic collagen and connects muscle to the bone and transmit force generating from the muscle to enable movement


The chest level region of the spine which comprises 12 vertebrae from cervical to lumbar region which is also attachment point for ribs


Group of cells which form a unit with similar structure and function and designated to perform specific function


The branch of science which studies the nature and harmful effects of poisonous substances in the human body


A non surgical therapy form which relieves pain by stretching and realigning the spine and alleviates direct nerve pressure and stress on vertebral discs which is conducted manually or through traction devices


The implantation of bone tissue from one part of the body to another through grafting. The term also refers to transfer of organs from one person to another


The sound or vibrations used in medical imaging and produces images of internal parts of the body so that causes of pain, inflammation and infection are deciphered. It is also used for therapeutic applications


One of the 33 bones in spinal column which has cylindrical shaped anteriorly and neural arch posteriorly so that spinal cord is protected


Injury caused by severe jerk as in accidents


Metal thread in various diameters and degrees of stiffness which is used to rejoin fractured bone