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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.
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