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Biscup Spine Glossary

    • Acupuncture

      Acupuncture is an ancient oriental medicine technique used to treat a variety of painful conditions, including sprains and strains, by placing small needles in certain anatomical locations in the body.
    • Aerobic Exercise and Conditioning

      Aerobic Exercise and Conditioning is an important element of any exercise and rehabilitation program. The beneficial effects are improved blood flow, elimination of metabolic waste products, improved heart and lung function, [...]
    • Artificial Disc Replacement

      Artificial Disc Replacement is an FDA-approved procedure (in the U.S.) that implants at least two or more components made of metal and plastic. These implants are used primarily for painful degenerative disc disease.
    • Artificial Facet Implants

      Artificial Facet Implants are just starting to appear in various studies to treat Degenerative Disc Disease. It is not clear what their full use will be, but it is presumed Artificial Facet Implants will help advanced facet [...]
    • Back Pain

      Back pain can range from sharp and intense to dull and aching. In some cases, a spine condition causes pain in areas of the body other than in the back; about eight in 10 people will suffer back pain at least once in their [...]
    • Black Disc

      A "black disc" is a term created by radiologists that is used to describe the appearance of an abnormal intervertebral disc on an MRI scan.
    • Bone Spurs

      Bone Spurs are a common term used to describe the accumulation of abnormal bone formation in and around the facet joints and the intervertebral disc (also called facet arthritis, calcium deposits, spinal arthritis, [...]
    • Bulging Disc

      Bulging Disc is a condition when the space between the intervertebral space starts to collapse and the outer rings of the disc begin to bulge out.
    • Caudal Epidural Injections

      Caudal Epidural Injections are similar to epidurals - performed by placing the needle in a small opening in the bottom of the sacral bone located just above the tailbone between the butt cheeks. The caudal epidural works best [...]
    • Central Spinal Stenosis

      Central Spinal Stenosis is a collective term that refers to narrowing of the spinal canal thereby decreasing the space available for the spinal cord and spinal nerves.
    • Core Exercise Programs

      Core Exercise Programs are designed to rehabilitate and strengthen the deep spine muscles in order to improve posture, balance, and strength of these muscle groups. This is also referred to as "core stabilization," and can [...]
    • Core Muscles

      Core Muscles involve the pelvis, back, abdomen, and chest. These are the muscles that support the spine and significantly influence our posture. This is also referred to as "core stabilization."
    • Curvature of the Spine

      Curvature of the Spine most commonly refers to a scoliosis deformity, which occurs in the side-to-side plane, forming either a "C" shape or an "S" shape when looking at a patient from behind. Scoliosis deformities are common [...]
    • Decompression Lamina Surgery

      Decompression Lamina Surgery reduces pressure on spinal column nerves caused by Spinal Stenosis or Herniated Intervertebral Disc. This is performed with a laminotomy, laminaplasty or laminectomy surgery.
    • Degenerative Disc Disease

      The term degenerative disc disease is spinal degeneration, or spondylosis, or "arthritis of the spine," which occurs in all of us to some extent throughout life; it refers to the natural spinal degeneration process, called [...]
    • Degenerative Spine Cascade

      Degenerative Spine Cascade is the process by which the human spine changes and degenerates over time. A continuous process that can begin at any age, the degenerative spine cascade often takes 40-50 years or more to run its [...]
    • Desiccated Disc

      Desiccated Disc, meaning "dried up disc," is a degenerative disc that has lost its ability to act as a biological sponge, absorbing water and acting as a hydraulic shock absorber. It is often cross-referenced as a "black disc."
    • Disc Stabilization Arthroplasty

      Disc Stabilization Arthroplasty, or nucleus replacement, will be one of the next major advances in spinal surgery, holding promise to be an alternative to total disc replacement. It would replace only the nucleus of a [...]
    • Epidural

      Epidural injections attempts to treat the symptoms of an underlying problem but not the problem itself, injecting a mixture of numbing medicine, cortisone, and sometimes pain medication such as morphine into the epidural [...]
    • Facet Arthritis

      Facet Arthritis occurs when the capsule of the facet joint in the spine is injured, inflamed or swollen, resulting in a deep aching type pain.
    • Failed Back Surgery

      Many can still have significant pain, difficulty performing normal daily activities and neurological problems after a prior disc surgery, previous attempted fusions, fractures with deformities, problems at adjacent level(s) [...]
    • Flat Back

      Flat Back is a posture change that is associated with a spondylolisthesis that has shifted backwards (retrolisthesis). This causes the entire lower spine to completely straighten or flatten. Flat back deformity will also [...]
    • Foraminal Stenosis

      Foraminal Stenosis is a condition where bone spurs form around the facet joint and narrow the foraminal canal that is formed by the facet joint above and below each vertebra. This narrowing can pinch the nerve root that is [...]
    • Gabopentin Therapy

      Gabopentin is the generic term for Neurotin. It is used with varying degrees of success for treating inflammatory nerve conditions.
    • Gyrotonic

      Gyrotonic is a method of restoring normal motion and alignment of the spine and joints using a special apparatus.
    • Harrington Implants

      Harrington Implants are used in spinal fusion. Complications that can occur - usually referred to as "transition disorders" - are not directly related to the original fusion but to years of degeneration above or below the [...]
    • Heat

      Heat warms and loosens tissue and muscle prior to exercise. Heat, rest and ice make up the simplest self-treatment options for back conditions.
    • Herniated Disc

      A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner material found in an intervertebral disc ruptures though the outer wall of the disc structure.
    • Ice

      Ice treats Sprains and Strains, as well as Spondylolisthesis. Heat, rest and ice make up the simplest self-treatment options for back conditions.
    • IDET

      IDET, or Intradiscal Electrothermic Therapy, is a percutaneous procedure that attempts to treat symptomatic degenerative disc disease (though it is not recommended for a herniated disc). The procedure is controversial and has [...]
    • Imaging

      Imaging studies are helpful during diagnosis to rule out other potential serious problems.
    • Implantable Morphine Pump

      An Implantable Morphine Pump is considered by most physicians and surgeons a last resort to control severe chronic pain. It is an implantable device consisting of two parts including an intrathecal catheter and a [...]
    • Indirect Spinal Distraction Decompression

      Indirect Spinal Distraction Decompression procedures (X-Stop, Diam, others) treat symptomatic spinal stenosis by spreading apart the two spinous process bones in the backside of the spine and placing a spacer between them. [...]
    • Inflamed Disc

      Inflamed Disc is another term to describe inflammatory changes of the vertebral bone on either side of the intervertebral disc, as seen on an MRI scan.
    • Joint Out of Place

      A Joint Out of Place is a slight dislocation of one of the ribs where they attach to the spine. This means that the rib head is slightly disjointed caused by a sprain of the ligaments that surround these joints.
    • Laminaplasty

      Laminaplasty surgery enlarges the bony spinal canal without removing the lamina to create more room for the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves. The procedure can produce the same benefits as the Laminotomy or Laminectomy, but [...]
    • Laminectomy

      Laminectomy is an aggressive, complex operation that removes the entire lamina. It requires detaching the spinal muscles from the bone, as well as removing certain ligaments connecting adjacent vertebrae, which can sometimes [...]
    • Laminotomy

      Laminotomy surgery accesses the spinal canal through a small opening in the lamina on the back of the spine in order to remove abnormal tissue, bone spurs or a herniated disc causing pressure on the spinal cord or spinal [...]
    • Laser Facet Ablation

      Laser Facet Ablation, also called laser spine surgery, is a highly precise form of surgery using extreme heat and energy of a laser to melt and vaporize nerve endings and tissue in or around the facet joint in the posterior [...]
    • Lateral Recess Stenosis

      The Lateral Recess Stenosis is a space located immediately under the spinal facet joints caused by an accumulation of bone spurs that push down and pinch one of the spinal nerves getting ready to enter the intervertebral foramen.
    • LIF (Lumbar Interbody Fusion) Surgery

      During a LIF procedure, hollow fusion cages made of various materials support the disc space, allowing bone graft or other bone fusion products to be placed inside the fusion cages prior to being inserted into the disc space. [...]
    • Major Spine Reconstruction

      Major Spine Reconstruction surgery is an extension of spine fusion. It usually involves more than one level of the spine to correct or treat a severe spine fracture or tumor. Sometimes entire vertebrae are removed and [...]
    • Massage Therapy

      Massage Therapy releases noxious chemicals built up during muscle spasm that cause pain and swelling into the blood stream, which allows normal circulation and function to return. Variations of massage therapy include [...]
    • MED

      MED, or micro endoscopic decompression involves the removal of such material as bone spurs and the reshaping of the back of the spine to create a larger bony canal.
    • Microdecompression Laminaplasty

      Microdecompression Laminaplasty is typically performed in patients 55 and older for the treatment of symptomatic Spinal Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that affects the spinal cord and spinal nerves. If successful, [...]
    • Microdiscectomy

      Microdiscectomy is the least invasive spine surgery, which usually treats leg pain, numbness and weakness through removal of disc herniation material impinging on a nerve root within the spinal column, causing severe pain and [...]
    • Myelopathy

      Myelopathy is a serious condition that needs to be treated aggressively or significant and permanent neurological damage can occur.
    • Neurogenic Claudication

      Neurogenic Claudication is a serious spinal cord and spinal nerve problem that causes damage to these important structures. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, weakness, balance problems, difficulty walking any distance, and [...]
    • Nucleus Replacement

      Nucleus Replacement, or disc stabilization arthroplasty, will be one of the next major advances in spinal surgery, holding promise to be an alternative to total disc replacement. It would replace only the nucleus of a [...]
    • OTC (Over the Counter) Medications

      OTC (Over the Counter) Medications are often the first sources of treatment for acute and chronic back pain. These pain and anti-inflammation medications include acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and [...]
    • Pedicle Screws

      Pedicle screws are the standard screw used in spinal fusion surgery from a posterior or backside approach.
    • Percutaneous Laser Discectomy

      Percutaneous Laser Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the lumbar spine for a type of herniated disc known as a contained herniation. It is most effective with younger patients up to 50 years of age [...]
    • Percutaneous Nucleoplasty Coblation

      Percutaneous Nucleoplasty Coblation is a type of percutaneous discectomy performed using electric radiofrequency energy and a liquid medium to create a plasma spray at a temperature much lower than a laser. It is very precise [...]
    • Percutaneous Spinal Fusion

      Percutaneous Spinal Fusion is a minimally invasive surgery that involves placing screws into the vertebral pedicles through small incisions in the skin using television x-ray. This serves to lock two or more vertebrae [...]
    • Physical Therapy

      Physical Therapy is often an alternative if other non-surgical treatments do not resolve a spinal problem, and treatment can be tailored to each patient. Physical therapy treats Sprains and Strains, Herniated Intervertebral [...]
    • Pinched Nerve

      Pinched Nerve is a condition caused by the result of an underlying problem compressing, constricting or stretching a nerve.
    • Power Plate

      A Power Plate is a device that works by placing a body area over a flat metal plate vibrating at a certain frequency. It was developed for the space program to help maintain bone and muscle tone in a weightless environment.
    • Prescription Medications

      Prescription Medications are often anti-inflammatory drugs to treat spinal conditions. Other medications may also be prescribed to help manage severe pain as a result of injury, pinched nerves, severe inflammation and [...]
    • Prolo (or Sclero) Facet Injection

      Prolo (or Sclero) Facet Injection is a procedure where a very irritating chemical is injected around a facet joint to induce the formation of scar tissue in order to tighten lax tissue that may have been damaged from an [...]
    • Pulled Muscle

      Pulled Muscle can occur anywhere in the spine and can be a slight tear of the muscle, an incomplete or partial tear, or a complete rupture.
    • Radiculopathy

      Radiculopathy is a nerve compression or a pinched nerve which causes nerve damage. The most common cause for a radiculopathy is a disc herniation in the neck or lower spine.
    • Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation (RF)

      Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation (RF) uses high-frequency radio waves to destroy, or ablate, nerve endings responsible for pain. The procedure is often performed when other attempts to control pain fail, and can treat Sprains [...]
    • Rest

      Rest treats Sprains and Strains and usually means avoiding strenuous activities that can aggravate the problem and cause more damage including pain, inflammation, and swelling. Heat, rest and ice make up the simplest [...]
    • Ruptured Disc

      Ruptured Disc is a well-known term associated with a herniated disc. The term refers to the action of the soft nucleus pulposis in the center of the disc as it bursts through (ruptures) the outer rings of the disc structure.
    • Sciatica

      Sciatica is a clinical diagnosis resulting from compressed or pinched sciatic nerve roots, which exit the spinal canal in the lower back. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc, and the two terms are often used [...]
    • Sclero (or Prolo) Facet Injection

      Sclero (or Prolo) Facet Injection is a procedure where a very irritating chemical is injected around a facet joint to induce the formation of scar tissue in order to tighten lax tissue that may have been damaged from an [...]
    • Segmental Dysfunction

      Segmental Dysfunction is a term used commonly to describe a sprain of the facet joint and joint capsule. Some practitioners believe that it is also a manifestation of an internal visceral problem possibly involving the lungs, [...]
    • Selective Nerve Root Block

      Selective Nerve Root Block is a treatment for a pinched nerve and can also be a diagnostic test to determine if a particular nerve is the source of pain. This can treat Herniated Intervertebral Disc, Spondylolisthesis and [...]
    • Severe Spinal Stenosis

      Severe Spinal Stenosis is the compression or squeezing of the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves inside of the spinal canal in the vertebral column. Symptoms arise from restriction of blood flow. We refer to symptomatic spinal [...]
    • Shifted Spine

      Shifted Spine is another term for spondylolisthesis and slipped vertebrae. It refers to a vertebra that has shifted or moved out of place relative to the vertebra above or below it.
    • Slipped Disc

      Slipped Disc is a well-known term for herniated disc. Slipped disc refers to the action or motion of the soft nucleus pulposis in the center of the disc rupturing through the outer wall of the disc structure.
    • Slipped Vertebrae

      Slipped Vertebrae is another term for a spondylolisthesis, which is a vertebra that has shifted out of place relative to the one below or above it. This creates a deformity and can significantly affect others structures in [...]
    • Spinal (or Dorsal) Column Stimulation

      Spinal (or Dorsal) Column Stimulation employs an implantable device composed of two main components including a special catheter and a battery power electric pulse generator (commonly called an implantable TENS unit) to [...]
    • Spinal Fusion With Instruments & Implants

      Spinal Fusion With Instruments & Implants uses hollow fusion cages made of various materials to mechanically support spine disc space, allowing the fusion to take place. Bone graft or other bone fusion products are placed [...]
    • Spinal Fusion Without Instrumentation & Implants

      Spinal Fusion Without Instrumentation & Implants is one of the most traditional spine operations performed, and seeks to stop motion or grinding in the spine by fusing two or more vertebrae together. This is accomplished by [...]
    • Spinal Instability

      Spinal Instability refers to a vertebrae and spinal motion segment that is moving too much: either front to back, side to side, or up and down. It can occur with spondylolisthesis and the terms are often used interchangeably. [...]
    • Spinal Manipulation

      Spinal Manipulation is typically performed by chiropractic physicians and osteopathic physicians specifically trained to treat, manage, and diagnose certain spinal conditions using soft tissue or muscle energy techniques, and [...]
    • Spinal Stenosis

      Spinal Stenosis develops over time and is a condition that causes a narrowing of the spinal canal due to the constriction or squeezing of the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
    • Spinal Support (Bracing)

      Spinal Support (Bracing) is a traditional method of limiting the motion and function of a problem area of the spine. Today many surgeons use back braces for a variety of problems including after a spinal fusion.
    • Spondylolisthesis

      Spondylolisthesis is a common condition in which one vertebra shifts out of position relative to other vertebrae.
    • Spondylosis

      Spondylosis is a term that describes the collective changes that occur with facet arthritis in the facet joints and intervertebral disc. The majority of people who develop these changes will not have symptoms. Spondylosis has [...]
    • Sprain

      A sprain is a stretch or a tear in a ligament.
    • Stem-Cell Therapy

      Adult stem-cell therapy is a technique that can help certain musculoskeletal conditions by using a patient’s own bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), and blood (it does not involve embryonic stem cells). Stem-cell therapy is [...]
    • Stiff Back

      Stiff Back is a term used by patients to describe functional back problems such as not being able to stand straight-up, walk longer distances, or get out of bed easily. It is usually due to spondylosis or facet arthritis, and [...]
    • Strain

      A strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon.
    • Stretching

      Stretching is an activity performed to either prepare a muscle or group of muscles for exercise or to elongate a cramped or chronically shortened muscle (tight muscles).
    • Thrown Back

      Thrown Back is an injury to ligaments and/or muscles of the spine, which is best described as mechanism of injury rather than a condition. It generally occurs while playing sports, or from a work injury or a sudden movement. [...]
    • Traction

      Traction is one of the oldest forms of treatment for back pain. It works by stretching the back muscles to relieve chronic spasm and by pulling degenerative intervertebral discs apart reversing the effects of gravity.
    • Transforaminal Epidural Injection

      Transforaminal Epidural Injection is similar to the standard epidural but differs in that access to the epidural space is gained through the foraminal canal (the space formed by the vertebrae above and below where an [...]
    • Transforaminal Micro Decompression

      Transforaminal Micro Decompression (or endoscopic foraminotomy) is used to treat a condition called foraminal stenosis. The goal of the surgery is to create a larger bony foraminal canal to take the pressure off of the [...]
    • Transforaminal Micro Discectomy

      Transforaminal Micro Discectomy is performed if there is a herniated disc located within or on the outside of the foraminal canal - the opening between two vertebrae where a nerve root is exiting.
    • Trigger Point

      Trigger Point is a localized "small" pulled muscle or sprain/strain. It usually occurs over, or around a facet joint or where a rib attaches to the spine. A well-defined and very painful bump is usually visible, which is [...]
    • Trigger Point Injections

      Trigger Point Injections deliver numbing and cortisone type medications into a very localized area to alleviate pain and decrease associated inflammation to prevent the pain from coming back. The injection can be at a single [...]
    • Water Exercise

      Water Exercise has become one of the most popular forms of therapy, especially for individuals with arthritis, sports injuries, and spine problems. Working in a low or zero gravity environment allows individuals to exercise [...]
    • X-Stop

      The X-Stop is a surgical implant placed between the two bones behind the spinal canal called the spinous processes. These are the bones that you feel in your lower back under the skin. By spreading these bones apart, the [...]