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An educational and training facility that teaches and promotes good back health care and body mechanics to individuals to enable them to rapidly return to normal activity and prevent further incidence of low back pain.
Bone tissue usually taken from the ileum of the pelvis or bone bank used for fusing vertebrae together in spinal surgery.
A procedure in which a concentration of radioactive substance that has an affinity for specific tissue is injected into the blood stream to enhance the images of bone activity. This exam will be ordered when the physician suspects a possible infection, recent fracture and/or tumor. A few hours prior to the exam, a tracing substance will be injected into a vein in the arm. The patient will then go to the Nuclear Medicine Department where he/she will lie flat on a table. A scanner will move slowly over the body taking pictures. The exam takes approximately 1-1/2 hours to complete and subjects the patient to very little radiation.
A condition in which the nucleus pulposus of the disc pushes out against the annulus fibrosis causing it to bulge, putting possible pressure on a nerve root.
Computed Tomography. A highly sophisticated x-ray exam which produces three-dimensional images of the body, joints, nerves, discs, bones and tissues. The scans are taken at regular intervals through the head or body as the patient lies on a table which moves slowly through the x-ray machine. The imaging data are collected by the x-ray tube moving opposite a series of detectors. The detectors transmit the data signals onto a computer where they are mathematically processed and reconstructed into images. These images are then processed by a computer and printed as an x-ray. As with all x-ray, it is important that the patient lie absolutely still throughout the procedure. The exam will take approximately one hour.
Pertaining to cartilage; a non-vascular, supporting connective tissue.
Of or pertaining to the neck or region of the neck.
A system of therapy based on the theory that a person's health is determined in general by the condition of his/her nervous system. In most cases, treatment provided by chiropractors involves the manipulation of the spinal column. Some practitioners employ radiology for diagnosis and use physical therapy and diet, in addition to spinal manipulation. Chiropractic does not employ drugs or surgery.
A disorder or disease developing slowly and persisting for six months or longer.
A battery-powered unit which evacuates drainage from the surgical site.
A procedure involving surgical excision of bone to relieve nerve root pressure caused either by bone or soft tissue such as a disc.
Degenerative Disc Disease
A normal wear-and-tear process of the spine which occurs after multiple annular tears have developed, resulting in the nucleus pulposus drying out and losing ability to function as a shock absorber. This, in turn, causes the vertebrae to become closer together producing increased stresses on bones, joints and ligaments. Pain may or may not occur with this condition. Even though the condition may persist or progress, it can sometimes be controlled with proper body mechanics and strong muscles.
In the context of spine care, relating to tests or procedures which are used to help localize and determine the source of a patient's pain, as well as to monitor the behavior of symptoms.
Intervertebral Disc. One of the fibrous, oval-shaped wedges found between adjacent vertebrae. The tough, fibrous outer portion is called the annulus fibrosis. It is composed of multiple cartilaginous rings. These rings firmly attach to the vertebrae above and below the disc and help to hold the segments together. The inner portion is called the nucleus pulposus. In the normal, middle-aged back, it is composed of approximately 80 percent water and has a gel-like consistency. The primary functions of a disc are to absorb and transfer mechanical stresses and to provide for smooth movement. The disc also adds to stability of the spine by virtue of the fact that it operates on a pressure gradient system.
A procedure involving surgical excision of the nucleus pulposus which has pushed or broken through the outer rings of the disc. During surgery, the maximum amount of disc material that can be removed is about 40 percent. The procedure usually involves cutting through the lamina of the vertebrae at the affected level(s), and making a "window" in the annulus, through which the nucleus pulposus can be removed.
The report written by the Spine Team following surgery which summarizes the results of the procedures or surgery performed.
The injection of a contrast medium (dye)* into the nucleus (middle) of the disc, which may be done at one or more levels of the vertebrae. X-rays are taken in order to radiographically visualize the disc(s) after the contrast medium is injected. The patient lies on his/her side during the procedure which usually takes from 30 minutes to two hours to complete. The skin is numbed over the sites where the needle(s) will enter. Injection of fluid into an abnormal disc may be painful, but this helps the physician to gather important data about the back which is valuable diagnostically. A healthy disc should not be painful.
This test will determine:
- The general condition of the disc(s). It will show any tears, leaks or bulges which may be present.
- The relationship between pain and the disc(s). If the pain that is felt from the injection of the contrast media is the same pain that the patient has been experiencing, the physician will know the disc(s) is a definite contributing factor to the patient's pain.
- The boundaries for possible surgery. This test will identify the level of the first normal disc, setting the parameters if a fusion is necessary.
- The patient must let the physician or nurse know if he/she is allergic to shellfish or iodine.
Dural Photon Study
A radiographic test which measures bone absorption; done specifically for determining osteoporosis.
A sheath containing nerve or nerve roots.