Neck and Arm Definition List

Annulus fibrosus Outer fibrous layers of the intervertebral disc consisting of overlapping collagen fibers. Also called .annulusê.
Calcification The growth of calcium within a tissue or structure, altering its natural structure or nature.
Cervical vertebrae The upper 7 vertebral bones of the spinal column that form the neck, and provide and support rotation for the head and neck.
CT scan (Computed tomography) Radiographic study of the spinal canal with the introduction of a dye substance into the spinal fluid to facilitate the image of the nerve tissues, called a myelogram, which is immediately followed by a CT scan.
Degenerative disc disease Condition where the spinal disc loses structural integrity from wear and tear, aging, or trauma. Consequences may be: disc space narrowing, osteophyte formation, disc bulging, or herniation.
Disc herniation Focal abnormality of a disc associated with disc disease.¾ Involves the breakdown of the outer disc structure with the inner contents partially or completely pushing through the outer fibrous layers and subsequent encroachment of the epidural space, spinal cord, and nerves.
Epidural steroid injections Technique whereby a liquid (steroid, anesthetic) is injected clinically into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord and spinal nerves
Facet joints Joints of the spine that connect all of the vertebrae and allow coordinated movement of the vertebral column.
Gait The activity of walking, stepping, or running. The smoothness or abnormalities of a personês gait can provide information for diagnosis of spinal disorders.
Halo cast A metal frame apparatus for immobilizing the neck or cervical spine. Applied under local or general anesthesia.
Herniation Protrusion of part of a disc through its outer layers or the whole disc through a defect or natural opening of muscle or bone.
Hyperreflexia A condition of very strong reflexes, often occurring in patients with cervical myelopathy.
Hypertrophy Enlargement or overgrowth of a tissue, organ, or structure in the body.
Laminectomy Removal of the lamina of one or more vertebrae to inspect the spinal cord or to provide decompression of the cord.
Laminoplasty Operation to create a more spacious spinal canal by elevating the laminae over the back of the spinal cord.
Ligamenta flava Bands of elastic ligament that connect the laminae and fuse with the facet joint capsules.
Monoradiculopathy Disease or disorder involving a single nerve root on one side of the spine.
Myelopathy Damage to the spinal cord from disease and/or compression.
Nerve foramina Small openings in the bony vertebrae that provide for the passage of spinal cord nerves to body tissues and organs.
NSAID Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Aspirin-like medicines used to treat pain and inflammation.
Nucleus pulposus The soft and gelatinous center of an intervertebral disc which has a high water content in younger persons.
Paresthesias Abnormal burning or -pins and needles" sensation without any specific stimulation applied to skin.
Polyradiculopathy Radiating pain along the arm or leg due to dysfunction of a multiple spinal nerves, often due to a herniated discs or spinal stenosis.
Radiculopathy Radiating pain along the arm or leg due to dysfunction of a spinal nerve, often due to a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Range of motion The area through which a joint can be freely moved, actively or passively.
Referred pain Pain experienced at a site that is distant from the origin of the pain or injury.
Spinal Stenosis / Stenosis A condition where the spinal canal is sufficiently reduced in size (diameter from a variety of causes (nerve root impingement, osteophyte formation, disc herniation, etc.). Frequent cause of low back and leg pain.
Spondylosis¾ Degenerative disease process affecting the spine, in particular, the intervertebral discs and the facet joints. Frequent cause of low back and leg pain.
Tinnitus Ringing, buzzing, clicking in the ears caused by a variety of mechanisms, one of which can be spinal cord compression.
Trigger point injections Local injection of anesthesia into painful muscle tissue for symptomatic relief.
Whiplash A general term used to describe soft tissue injury of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or discs associated with traumatic injury of the neck.