Spine Association for Education


Anterior – body’s front surface

Articular facet – sliding surface between two vertebrae where the bones meet

Bone graft – material from the patient’s body or a natural, artificial, or synthetic substitute that replaces damaged or missing bone

Cartilage – flexible connective tissue found in joints like the knee and ankle

Cervical – related to the seven vertebrae in the neck

Chronic – slow developing, persistent, or lasting

Congenital – present from birth

Corticosteroid – medication used to stop or lessen inflammation

CT scan – three-dimensional medical imaging used to diagnose patients

Degenerative – physically deteriorates or decreases function over time

Disks – elastic shock absorbers that separate the vertebrae and allow motion in the spine

Herniated – when an organ or organ tissue sticks out of its containing structure, usually causing pain

Hydrotherapy – hot, mineral, or massaging water treatments for pain relief

Intervertebral foramina – small openings in the spine that nerves, arteries, veins, and ligaments pass through

Ligament – band of tissue that connects bones and organs

Lumbar – related to the lower five vertebrae of the spine, between the ribs and hips

MRI – magnetic three-dimensional medical imaging used to diagnose patients

Neuromuscular – related to the nerves and muscles

Myelogram – an imaging technique that uses fluorescent dye for contrast in an X-ray or CT scan

Scoliosis – an abnormal lateral curve of the spine

Spinal nerve root – where the nerves that control motor function and give sensory input branch off from the spinal cord

Spondylolisthesis – forward slipping of a vertebra against the vertebra below it, causing pain and compression of spinal nerve roots

Stenosis – narrowing of a blood vessel or other tube in the body; spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal or foramen

Thoracic – related to the area between the neck and abdomen, including the ribs and sternum

Vertebrae – the bones that make up the spinal column

Patient Stories


Sylvia Garcia

Age: 48, Lumbar Disc Disease

Read Her Story


Andrew Goll

Age: 52, Herniated Disc

Read His Story

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