Glossary of Spinal Terms

Glossary Of Spinal Terms

Bone Spur

It refers to bony growth. Doctors also take rough edges of bone in the same parameter. 


Doctors use the surgical process to help patients relieve pressure and alleviate pain. Infringement in the bone causes such a condition.

However, disc material on the spinal cord or nerves may also cause pressure and pain. 

Disc degeneration

It means disc collapse or deterioration. Wearing out of the disc is a general condition. Pain is the consequence.


It refers to surgical removal of the entire or a part of the intervertebral disc. Surgeons perform the surgery to help relieve pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord.


It involves the removal by cutting away material. Disc removal also forms a part of the process.


It is a posterior structure joiner in the vertebrae. Surgeons use the device to connect vertebrae of a body part to another, thus forming a facet joint. It helps motion in the spinal column. Each of the vertebras has a right and left superior and inferior facet.


It refers to prevailing opening or passage in the spinal vertebrae. Spinal nerve roots travel through this opening.


It is a surgical process. Surgeons open or enlarge the bony opening passing through a nerve root while leaving the spinal canal. The process also helps in increasing space for that nerve passage.

Herniated Disc

Medical sciences also refer to the herniated disc as a slipped or ruptured disc.The gelatinous core material of a disc comes out of position with the disease. It causes pressurized pain around the nerve roots.

Intervertebral Foramen

Nerves use the opening between vertebras to leave the spine and extend to other parts of the body.

The doctors also call it the neural foramen.


Our upper back curves come forward in the condition. Sometimes, the disease creates a lump in the back.

Poor posture sustenance for years is the principal hue. Other causes include:

  • Fractures associated with osteoporosis.
  • Trauma.
  • Developmental issues.


Lamina is the flattened or arched part of the vertebral arch. It forms the roof of the spinal canal.


Surgeons remove the vertebra rear with the surgery. It helps them gain access to the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Tumor elimination is the principal reason to conduct the procedure. The treatment also helps cure injuries. Doctors also recommend Laminectomy to relieve pressure on nerve roots.


Though these appear similar, laminotomy removes the vertebral arch in the area, causing symptoms. Surgeons create an opening in the lamina to alleviate pressure on the nerve roots. 


Lordotic curves are the general turn of the lumbar spine. The arch often causes spinal deformity in a few people.

Medical sciences refer to the condition as swayback. It occurs when the lower back curves inward more than usual. 

Excessive lordosis is a natural consequence of osteoporosis or spondylolisthesis. Other reasons include obesity, congenital disorders, or overcompensation for Kyphosis.

Medial facetectomy

The operative procedure also works to increase space in the spinal canal. Surgeons operate to cut a facet out, thus creating a vacancy.

Nerve Roots

It refers to the initial portion of a spinal nerve. Nerve Roots are extensions of the central nervous system.

The system begins at the spinal canal and terminates in the extremities. These include fingers and toes.

The organelle helps send sensory information from the toes or fingers to the brain. Thus, the brain can generate commands, and the same roots carry those to several body parts, 


It refers to the bony part on each side of the neural arch of the vertebra. It connects the lamina to the vertebral body.


The term refers to processes performed through the skin.


You can call it the failed fusion.

Surgeons sometimes fail to move the bone at a fracture location at some wrong place. It thus results in the adequate healing of the area. Bones start to grow immaturely, making you paralyzed for the rest of your life. It also accounts for developmental failure.


It is the lateral curvatures in the spine. 

Spinal stenosis creates an abnormal narrowing of the vertebra. It exerts pressure on the spinal cord, thus generating pain.

Patients also suffer trauma when pressure is on the spinal sac or nerve roots arising on the spinal cord.

Spinous Process

It involves a slender projection of bone from the back of a vertebra. Muscles and ligaments also cling to the spinal bone.


It is a vertebral inflammation.


The condition involves a forward displacement of one vertebra to another.


The process involves degenerative changes in the spine. Usually, it affects the intervertebral discs and the facet joints as well.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery involves using specialized instruments to expose the spine. These instruments include a tubular retractor system.

Both doctors and patients prefer the process. They like the smaller incisions and less recovery period.

Based on the condition, surgeons sometimes make several incisions at the center of the spine.

MIS helps treat spinal decompression.

Doctors expect the patients to disclose their expectations and individual needs. Thus the physician can decide whether the person befits the treatment procedure. 

Endoscopic Spinal Surgery

Sometimes the surgeons use an endoscope while conducting a spinal surgery. An endoscope is a small flexible tube with a camera.

It takes a picture of the operative procedure and reverts those to a video screen. The surgeon makes use of the pictures. It helps them correct the procedural defects. Endoscopic Spinal Surgery has advantages too. The surgeon gets two-dimensional images from the endoscopic camera. Therefore, clinics use the process in cases of optimal emergency.


Doctors recommend a fusion whenever they feel the need for decompression. However, surgeons apply fusion to treat the unstable spine as well. 

Such spines exhibit abnormal motion. 

It is dangerous for the spinal cord or nerve roots. These may cause degenerating changes like spondylosis.

Fusion in spinal cord treatment means bone graft. 

The process covers a portion of the spine. 

The cords fuse and create a new bone mass. 

The new mass prevents movement.

Surgeons imply a solid material to help fusion fast at the beginning. It lasts in the body for an indefinite period. Proper hardware implementation also eliminates the hindrance factors for fusion.

Other Pinched Nerves

Medical sciences use the term Pinched Nerve to explain spinal nerve roots. Sometimes, a peripheral nerve compress in another area.

The conditions include:

  • Capital Nerve Syndrome. Median nerves in the wrist sustain compression. It can cause numbness to the first three fingers.
  • The cubital tunnel syndrome. Ulnar nerve trapping causes it. The weakness in the elbow causes numbness in the fourth and fifth fingers.
  • Both the conditions cause weakness.

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