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Glossary

Absence Seizure:

Impaired consciousness with mild or no motor involvement.

ACDF:

Stands for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.

Adies Pupil:

An iris palsy resulting in a dilated or enlarged pupil.

ALIF:

Stands for Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

Aneurysm:

Weakening of a blood vessel causing it to “balloon” which can lead to rupture.

Annulus Fibrosis:

Outer fibrous layers of the intervertebral disc consisting of overlapping collagen fibers. Also called ‘annulus’.

Atonic Seizure:

Sudden loss of muscle tone that might cause unknown falls.

Cervical:

Refers to the neck or cervical curve of the spine; the top most curve that includes the neck area.

Cervical Spondylosis:

Narrowing of the cervical spinal canal, causing pain and radiculopathy.

Clonic Seizure:

Jerking of the upper and lower extremities.

CSF:

Cerebral Spinal Fluid, or the fluid that surrounds the brain and spine.

CVA:

Stands for Cerebral Vascular Accident, refers to decreased blood flow to the brain either from Hypertension or from a blood clot.

Dura Mater:

The outer most and toughest membrane surrounding the brain and continuing as part of the sac surrounding the spinal cord. Also called the dura.

Durotomy:

“Dura tear,” or “CSF leak” refers to an injury to the dura causing loss in CSF fluid.

DVT:

Deep Vein Thrombosis. It is rare, but sometimes a patient may develop this secondary to decreased ambulation/bed rest/unconsciousness. A DVT may lead to a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) which can be fatal.

EDH:

Epidural Hematoma or blood collected in the brain between the dura and the skull.

EEG:

Electroencephalogram, or a special machine to record brain activity.

Epidural Injections:

Technique whereby a liquid mechanism (steroid, anesthetic) is injected clinically into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

Epilepsy:

Characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures.

Facet Joint:

Joints of the spine that connect all of the vertebrae and allow coordinated movement of the vertebral column.

F/U:

Follow up, usually in the clinic after a procedure.

Generalized Clonic-Tonic Seizure:

Referred as Grand-mal, evolves from clonic to tonic motor activity.

Hematocrit:

The proportion of the blood that consists of packed red blood cells.

Hemorrhage:

An abnormal amount of blood (in a confined space) or blood loss secondary to injury.

Herniated Disc:

A condition where the center (nucleus pulposus) of the intervertebral disc is protruding through the outer fibrous layer (annulus fibrosus) of the disc. A frequent cause of low back and leg pain.

Horner’s Syndrome:

Caused by and interruption of sympathetic nervous system (Nerve roots) to the eye and face.

Hydrocephalus:

Abnormal collection of fluid within the brain.

Hyperglycemia:

Elevated blood glucose or sugar.

Hyperkalemia:

Elevated Potassium within the extracellular space (blood).

Hypernatremia:

Elevated Sodium (salt) within the extracellular space (blood).

HTN:

Hypertension, or increased blood pressure.

Hypoglycemic:

Decreased blood glucose or sugar.

Hypokalemia:

Decreased Potassium within the extracellular space (blood).

Hyponatremia:

Decreased Sodium (salt) within the extracellular space (blood).

Hypotension:

Decreased blood pressure.

Hypoxia:

Decreased level of oxygen within the circulating blood.

ICH:

Intracerebral Hemorrhage, or an abnormal amount of blood collected in the brain.

Intracranial Pressure:

Pressure within the intracranial cavity.

Intubation:

The placement of a breathing tube in the trachea to ensure proper oxygenation and respiration during unconsciousness.

IDDM:

Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus

INR:

International Normalized Ratio, refers to measuring the clotting factors of the blood. Usually in conjunction with patients who are taking Coumadin as a blood thinner.

Kyphosis:

Outward curvature of the spine, causing a humped back.

Lamina:

Flat pieces of the vertebral arch extending from the vertebral pedicles that form the back wall of the spinal canal.

Laminectomy:

Removal of the lamina, or a specific anatomic location on the vertebral spine.

Lordosis:

An abnormal forward curvature of the spine.

Lumbar:

Refers to the lower back and that area of the spinal column called the ‘lumbar curve’. This are of the spine Consists of 5 vertebrae.

MRSA:

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.

Myoclonic Seizure:

Shock like body jerks with changes on an EEG.

Nucleus Pulposis:

The soft and gelatinous center of an intervertebral disc which has high water content in younger persons.

PACU:

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, or where pts are transferred after surgery.

Pedicle:

Short, thick bony structures which project backwards from each side of the vertebral body and are joined by the lamina to complete the back wall of the spinal canal.

PT:

Physical Therapy

Radiculopathy:

Dysfunction of a nerve root (pain, weakness).

Regional Anesthesia:

Anesthesia for a select region of the body produced by the injection of anesthesia around the sensory nerves supplying that area.

Sacrum:

Lowermost portion of the spinal column consisting of 3-5 fused bones, collectively in the shape of a triangle.

SDH:

Subdural Hematoma or blood collected in the brain between the dura and the skull.

SIADH:

Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion.

Spondylolithesis:

Forward displacement of a vertebra from the vertebra below due to degenerative changes in the facet joints.

Spinal Canal:

The space that houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves throughout the length of the vertebral column.

Thoracic:

Includes the chest or the mid-back region of the spine, known as the thoracic curveand consisting of 12 vertebrae. This is the area in-between the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine.

TLIF:

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

TLSO:

Thoracolumbar-sacral orthosis.

Tonic Seizure:

Sudden, increased muscle tone with usually a classic grunt/cry as air is forced out of the vocal cords.

Transverse Process:

Bilateral and broad flat lateral projections from each vertebral body that function as attachments for spinal ligaments and muscles.

Ventricle:

Specific locations in the brain containing CSF.

Ventriculostomy:

Placement of an Intraventricular Cathater (IVC) to monitor CSF Fluid within the brain.