analgesic pain killer
analgo-sedation Combination of a local anesthesia and a sedative. The patient stays conscious but is sleepy and free of pain.
anatomy Science of the structure of the body
anulus fibrosus The outer fibre ring of the spinal disc. It surrounds the soft jelly-like nucleus (nucleus pulposus) and provides for form and stability of the disc.
arthrosis The technical term for joint wear and tear. Arthrosis can develop after a trauma or due to constant mechanical strains.
cage Implant that is inserted into the disc space between two adjacent vertebrae. The cage is filled with natural of artificial bone material and shall induce a bony fusion of the vertebrae. The result is a stiffening of this spinal segment.
C-arm flouroscope X-ray machine with a movable arm in the shape of a “C” which can be positioned around the patient to get images in different planes.
cauda equina Spinal nerves in the lumbar spine. Latin: cauda equina = horse tail.
cauda equina syndrome Rare and severe form of a herniated disc where the spinal nerves are compressed. Signs include weakness of the legs, urinary retention, fecal incontinence and saddle anesthesia.
caudal Caudal is Latin and means in the direction of the tail. Within the spine “caudal” means “towards the lowest segments”. The opposite is “cranial”.
cerebral belonging to the brain
cervical related to the neck
cervical syndrome medical term for troubles stemming from the cervical spine
conservative therapy Non surgical treatment (drugs, physiotherapy, manipulation, etc.)
cranial Cranial is Latin and means in the direction of the head. The opposite is caudal.
decompression Decompression is the relief of pressure from a structure. Within the pain it generally means surgically freeing of pinched spinal nerves.
degeneration Wear and tear of an organ or part of the body due to predisposition or chronic strain.
degenerative due to degeneration
discectomy Surgical procedure for herniated disc treatment
discography Diagnostic procedure to visualize damages of the spinal disc: Contrast agent is injected into the disc and an x-ray image taken.
dislocation Displacement of bones, joints, tissue or implants from their anatomically correct position
dorsal In direction of the back. Lat.: dorsum = back.
endoscope Rigid or flexibel medical device that allows to look inside body cavities. It consists of an illumination unit and an optical system. In many cases it comprises a rinse and suction function and a working channel for the introduction of special instruments.
epidural space space between the spinal cord and the vertebral bodies.
extraforaminal outside of the foramen
extremities limbs
facet joint Joints connecting the vertebrae in the rear part of the spine.
facet syndrome Pain syndrome of the lumbar spine that originates from the facet joints and that may irradiate into the legs.
foramen Opening between two vertebrae where the spinal nerves exit.
ganglion mass of nerve cells
hemorrhagic diathesis Predisposition to excessive bleeding
herniated disc (slipped disc) Displacement of spinal disc tissue into the spinal canal. If this tissue presses on a nerve root it can cause severe pain.
interlaminar between the laminae (parts of the vertebral arch on the back of the spine)
intradiscal within the disc
intraforaminal within the foramen
intraoperatively during surgery
kyphoplasty Minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of a vertebral body fracture. First under pressure a cavity in the vertebral body is created to restore original height. Then cement is introduced to stabilize the bone.
kyphosis Outward curve of the spine. A natural kyphosis is found in the thoracic spine and the tailbone.
lamina Part of the vertebral arch between the facet joints and the spinous process.
lateral anatomical direction: to the side
lordosis Inward curve of the spine. A natural lordosis is found in the cervical and in the lumbar spine
lumbago medical term for low back pain
lumbar relating to the low back
microsurgery surgery with the help of a surgical microscope or loupe
minimally invasive Surgical treatments with minimal tissue trauma. Rating a treatment minimally-invasive is not always unequivocal.
MIS / MISS Minimally invasive surgery / minimally invasive spine surgery
nerve root Fibers from the spinal nerves exiting through the foramen to the body periphery.
nociceptor Nerve ending reacting to impending or existing tissue damage. Part of the sense of pain.
nucleotomy partial surgical removal of a spinal disc
nucleus pulposus Soft jelly-like nucleus in the center of a spinal disc which is surrounded by a fiber ring (anulus fibrosus)
osteoporosis Disease which is characterized by a lowering of the bone density. Signs are frequent bone fractures especially of the femur and the vertebral bodies.
PEEK Polyetheretherketone: synthetic polymer that is commonly used for implants in spinal surgery.
percutaneous Lat.: through the skin. Technical term in surgery for minimally invasive procedures where no big incision is required but only a cut of a few millimeters.
postoperative after surgery
preoperative before surgery
prolapse refer to herniated disc
protrusion (disc protrusion) Spinal disc deterioration where the jelly-like nucleus protrudes into the spinal canal but is still surrounded by the fiber ring.
radicular pain Pain stemming from an irritated nerve root. It is mostly intensive and “shooting” and radiating along the course of the affected nerve fiber. Hence pain is often felt far away from its origin. Nerve root irritations in the lumbar spine lead to pain in the legs, feet or toes.
sacroiliac joint Joint between sacrum and pelvis
sequester Loose fragment of spinal disc tissue in the spinal canal.
sequestered in the form of sequesters
spinal relating to the spine or the spinal cord
spinal canal The spinal canal is the part of the spine that hosts and protects the spinal cord.
spinal disc Also called intervertebral disc. It is a cartilaginous connection between two adjacent vertebrae. Humans have 23 spinal discs consisting of an outer fiber ring and an inner jelly-like nucleus.
spinal nerve Nerve from the central nervous system within the spinal canal.
spinal stenosis Narrowing of the spinal canal (refer also to stenosis)
spine The spine is formed of 5 segments: the cervical spine with 7 cervical vertebrae, the thoracic spine with 12 thoracic vertebrae, the lumbar spine with 5 lumbar vertebrae, the sacrum and the tail bone.
spondylodesis A surgical procedure that is also called fusion or stiffening where two or more adjacent vertebral bodies are fused. The respective spinal discs are completely removed and replaced by material that induces bone growth.
spondylolisthesis vertebral slippage
stenosis Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal due to bone spurs or thickening of ligaments.
TESSYS® Transforaminal Endoscopic Surgical System. Endoscopic surgical treatment for a herniated disc that is established all over the world.
thoracic spine Middle part of the spine consisting of 12 thoracic vertebrae.
VBA Vertebral Bone Augmentation: surgical treatment for a vertebral compression fracture where the compressed vertebral body is stabilized with cement and its original height is restored.
ventral Anatomical direction: to the belly
vertebral arch rear bony part of the spine
vertebral compression fracture A vertebral compression fracture is due to excessive loading on the vertebral body so that the bone breaks. Most common underlying cause is osteoporosis. Bone substance is then so weak that body weight alone or minimal additional trauma can lead to such instability of the vertebral body.
vertebral slippage Disease where one vertebrae slips out of the correct anatomical position within the spine.
vertebroplasty Surgical procedure where a fractured and compressed vertebral body is stabilized with cement. As opposed to kyphoplasty the cement is injected directly into the vertebral body without prior creation of a cavity.