Glossary

Analgesic: A drug that alleviates pain without causing loss of consciousness.
 
Anesthesia: A drug that blocks pain impulses from nerves. With general anesthesia you are unconscious, or asleep. With local anesthesia you are conscious, or awake.
 
Artifact: An abnormality in an image resulting in distortion and interference.
 
Cauda Equina Syndrome: The cauda equina is a bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord. Cauda equina syndrome is severe compression of the cauda equina resulting in loss of bowel and/or bladder function, loss of sensation in the buttocks and groin, and weakness in the legs.
 
Cervical:  The upper part of the spine located in or near the neck. 
 
coflex® Interlaminar Technology (coflex®):  A titanium implant that rests on the lamina and fits between the spinous processes; helps stabilize the spine.
 
coflex-F® Interlaminar Stabilization System (coflex-F®):  A titanium implant with rivet fixation that rests on the lamina and fits between the spinous processes; helps stabilize the spine for fusion to occur.
 
Corticosteroid:  A medicine that reduces swelling and inflammation.
 
Discs:  Joints made of cartilage that lies between vertebrae. They hold the vertebrae together and allow slight movement.
 
DSS® Stabilization System (DSS®):  A screw rod system to stabilize the spine.
 
Decompression:  Removal of bone that may be compressing a nerve causing back, groin, or leg pain.  
 
Degenerative:  Growing less healthy over time.
 
Degenerative Disc Disease:  The natural wearing down of discs in the spine.
 
Extension:  Bending backward, then standing upright.
 
Facet:  Surfaces where two vertebrae meet and move, forming a joint.
 
Flexion:  Bending forward, then standing upright.
 
Foramen:  A natural opening or passage in bone for nerves and blood vessels.
 
Fusion:  An operation to permanently join the vertebrae together.
 
Interbody Fusion:  An operation to permanently join the vertebrae together after moving the intervertebral disc.
  
Interlaminar Stabilization:  An operation in which an implant, such as coflex® or coflex-F®, is placed between the spinous processes near the spinal cord to help stabilize the spine after a decompression or fusion procedure.
 
Interspinous Ligament:  Spinal ligament that extends from one spinous process to the other.
 
Interlaminar Space:  The space between two adjacent laminae. 
 
Interspinous Space:  The area between two adjacent spinous processes.
 
Intervertebral Disc:  Tissue found between the bones of the spinal column, called vertebrae. The discs help cushion the spine from stress during everyday activities.
 
Intervertebral Disc Space:  The space found between the bones of the spinal column, called vertebrae. 
 
Lamina:  A part of a vertebra. For each vertebra, two laminae connect the pedicles to the spinous processes, forming the roof of the spinal canal.
 
Laminectomy:  An operation to remove the lamina. The purpose is to allow more room for the spinal cord and nerves.
 
Ligament:  A band of tissue linking two bones in a joint.
 
Lumbar:  The lower part of the spine between the ribs and hipbones.
 
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis:  A degenerative spinal disease that causes the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing causes pressure on the nerves and can cause pain or other symptoms like muscle weakness or numbness.
 
Nerves:  Fibers containing nerve cells that send messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
 
Nerve Compression:  Pressure on a nerve; may cause nerve damage and muscle weakness.
 
Nerve Root:  The start of the nerve as it leaves the spinal cord and passes through the foramen.
 
Osteophyte:  A bony outgrowth on the edge of a vertebra, also known as a bone spur.
 
Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Index (ODI):  A 10 question patient survey used to determine a patient's low back pain and functional impairment.
 
Pedicle:  A part of a vertebra. It connects the lamina with the vertebral body.
 
SF-12 (Short-Form):  A 12 question patient survey to assess the pateint's overall quality of life.
 
Spinal Canal:  The bony channel that contains the spinal cord.
 
Spinal Cord:  A bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
 
Spinous Process:  A part of the vertebra. A spinous process protrudes from each vertebra. The spinous processes create the “bumps” you feel in the middle of your back.
 
Spinal Stenosis:  Narrowing of the spinal canal.
 
Supraspinous Ligament:  Spinal ligament that passes over and attaches to the tips of the spinous processes.
 
Spondylolisthesis:  A condition in which one vertebra slips forward in relation to the vertebra below it.
 
Vertebra:  A bone of the spinal column. There are five lumbar vertebrae. 
 
Visual Analog Scale (VAS):  A 100mm scale where patients self-report their intensity of pain. Higher scores correlate with increased pain.
 
Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ):  An 18 question patient survey designed to measure the effects of spinal stenosis. It is divided into 3 sections: Symptom Severity, Physical Function, and Patient Satisfaction.