Disclaimer: It would be good if we could give you an extensive dictionary (or, an encyclopedia) of all spine-related things, so you would just browse and find there whatever you would like to know. However, science does not work that way. Science is built up on fundamental principles, then evolves gradually and logically to greater complexity. This page (spine dictionary) is just for quick indexing of entire content of the website. We recommend you follow the links inside each item, whenever available.

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  • ANATOMY: Anatomy is a branch of biology and Medicine which studies primarily the internal structure and design of the structure of living things. The word comes from from the Greek ana: separate, apart from, and temnein, to cut up, cut open. It is a general term that includes human anatomy , animal anatomy (zootomy) and plant anatomy (phytotomy). Anatomy is divided into various sub specialties in some of its facets anatomy is closely related to Embryology, Histology, comparative anatomy and comparative embryology, through common roots in evolution .
    Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy (or macroscopic anatomy) and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by unaided vision with the naked eye. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes, which includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells).
    Anatomy should not be confused with anatomical pathology (also called morbid anatomy or histopathology), which is the study of the gross and microscopic appearances of diseased organs.
    Superficial anatomy: Superficial anatomy or surface anatomy is important in anatomy being the study of anatomical landmarks that can be readily seen from the contours or the surface of the body. With knowledge of superficial anatomy, physicians or veterinary surgeons gauge the position and anatomy of the associated deeper structures.
    Human anatomy: Human anatomy, including gross human anatomy and histology, is primarily the scientific study of the mor phology of the adult human body. Human anatomy , physiology and biochemistry are complementary basic medical sciences, which are generally taught to medical students in their first year at medical school. Human anatomy can be taught regionally or systemically; that is, respectively, studying anatomy by bodily regions such as the head and chest, or studying by specific systems, such as the nervous or respiratory systems. The major anatomy textbook, Gray’s Anatomy, has recently been reorganized from a systems format to a regional format, in line with modern teaching methods. A thorough working knowledge of anatomy is required by all medical doctors, especially surgeons, and doctors working in some diagnostic specialities, such as histopathology and radiology .
    Academic human anatomists are usually employed by universities, medical schools or teaching hospitals. They are often involved in teaching anatomy, and research into certain systems, organs, tissues or cells.
    Comparative anatomy: Relates to the comparison of anatomical structures (both gross and microscopic) in different animals.
    Anthropological anatomy or physical anthropology: Relates to the comparison of the anatomy of different races of humans.
    Artistic anatomy relates to anatomic studies for artistic reasons.
  • AO: AO Foundation (German: Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen = Association for the Study of Internal Fixation). Is a non profit organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and their sequelae through research, development, education and quality assurance in the principles, practice, and result of fracture treatment. Distribution and sales of all AO products is done through Synthes via a subsidiary. From March 2006, Synthes  acquired existing "Synthes"-branded products from the AO Foundation. The foundation was founded in Switzerland in 1958 and runs training courses on methods of bone plating and fracture surgical treatment in many countries. AO regularly hold courses worldwide for Orthopedic Surgeons and other health professionals. These include hands on experience of using the latest implants, as well as lectures from expert surgeons and discussions. The foundation has a large impact in the field of Maxillofacial surgery and many of the foundation recommendations are used in that field.


  • BELL'S CRUCIATE PARALYSIS: As a result of cervicomedullary lesion, bilateral paresis of the upper extremities without significant involvement of the lower extremities. For more information, visit: Bell's Cruciate Paralysis.


  • CANCER: A term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
  • CHI: Chi (uppercase Χ, lowercase χ; Greek: χῖ) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet, pronounced as /kaɪ/ in English. In statistics, the term chi-squared or χ² has various uses, including the chi-squared distribution, the chi-squared test, and chi-squared target models. In neurology, the optic chiasm is named for the letter Chi because of its Χ-shape.
  • CLAUDICATON: Limping. From the Latin claudicare, which means 'to limp.' For more information click: Neurogenic Claudication.
  • CONED DOWN VIEW: (=spot view, =cone view, =coned-down magnification view, =cone-down view) A radiological technique consisting of narrowing the field-of-view, for example, a specific vertebra. These views are used to examine an area of concern more closely.



  • EPIDEMIOLOGY: Epidemiology is the study and science of the distribution, causes and effects of health-related conditions. For more information, visit: Epidemiology.
  • ELECTROCAUTERY: Electrocauterization is the process of destroying tissue using heat conduction from a metal probe heated by electric current. For more information, visit: Electrocautery.



  • GRISEL'S SYNDROME: Upper cervical instability due to infection of the upper respiratory tract. For more information, visit: Grisel's Syndrome.


  • HAWTHORNE EFFECT: An increased performance or productivity caused by the evident observation of that process. For more information, visit: Hawthorne effect.
  • HEMIPLEGIA CRUCIATA: See: Bell's Cruciate Paralysis.
  • HUETER-VOLKMANN LAW: An hypothesis stating bone growth in the period of skeletal immaturity is retarded by mechanical compression on the growth plate and accelerated by growth plate tension.For more information, visit: Hueter-Volkmannn Law.


  • IMPAR: Unpaired, azygous (look at: ganglion impar).



  • KARNOFSKY SCORE: Index for clinical estimate of a patient’s physical state, performance, and prognosis after a therapeutic procedure, and for determining a patient's suitability for therapy.  The Karnofsky scale was developed in the 1940s by David A. Karnofsky and Joseph H. Burchenal as an attempt to measure the more 'subjective' side of the outcome of cancer treatment. For more information, visit: Karnofsky Score.



  • MODIC CHANGES: (= Modic endplate changes). Degenerative vertebral endplate and subchondral bone marrow changes visible on magnetic resonance imaging. They were first classified by American radiologist Dr. Modic and his colleagues. For more information, visit: Modic changes.



  • ORIF: Stands for Open Reduction Internal Fixation. Open reduction internal fixation is a method of surgically repairing a fractured bone. Rigid fixation prevents micromotion across lines of fracture to enable healing and prevent infection. This generally requires use ofbone plates, screws, and intramedullar (IM) rod to rigidly stabilize fractures.



  • RADIOFREQUENCY (RF): A form of electrical energy oscillating in the frequency range of 300 kilohertz (kHz) to 1 megahertz (MHz). For more information, visit: Radiofrequency.


  • SCOLIOSIS:  The presence of one or more lateral curves of the vertebral column in the coronal plane, although abnormal curves may affect spinal alignment in all three dimensions.


  • TANNER SCALE: (=Tanner Stages, =Tanner Rating, = Tanner Developmental Stages). A scale of physical development in children, adolescents and adults. The scale defines physical measurements of development based on external primary and secondary sex characteristics, including the size of the breasts, genitalia, and development of pubic hair. Visit: Tanner Scale.







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