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 Term  Description
Abduction Movement of a limb or eye away from the midline
Aberrant Deviating from the normal
ACDF Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Acoustic Sound or sense of hearing
Acoustic Neuroma Benign tumour arising from the 8th cranial (vestibule-cochlear) nerve. Also called a vestibular schwannoma
Adenoma Benign tumour made of epithelial (lining) cells
Adduction Movement of a limb or eye toward the midline
Adjuvant Aiding or assisting: usually refers ti radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment after surgery for tumour removal
Aetiology Cause
Afebrile No fever
Alarotomy Small incision at side of nostril
ALIF Anterior Lumber Interbody Fusion
Aneurysm Localised abnormal swelling of a blood vessel due to congenital defect or weakness in the wall of the vessel
Anaesthetist A doctor specialising in sedation, pain control and local, spinal and general anaesthetics for an operation
Analgesic Pain control medication
Angiogram Special x-ray which outlines blood vessels using dye injected into a vein in the arm or groin
Anulus Fibrosus Lining or wall of an intervertebral disc. Composed of fibrocartilage bundles arranged spirally
Annulotomy Opening into the lining of an intervertebral disc
Anterior In front of
Antero-lateral In front and to the outside
Anterolisthesis Forward slip of one vertebra on another
Anticoagulant Drugs Blood thinning mediation to prevent clots, e.g. Warfarin
Anticonvulsant Drugs Used to treat epilepsy or neuropathic pain, e.g. Tegretol, Phenytoin and Lyrica
Anti-platelet Drugs Inhibit platelet action in the blood preventing clots, e.g. Aspirin and Plavix
Aphasia Absence of speech
Apnoea Temporary cessation of breathing
Artificial Not natural
Astrocytoma Tumour arising from the supporting or ‘scaffolding’ cells of the brain called glial cells. Grades 1 (pilocystic), II (astrocytoma), III (anaplastic) and IV (glioblastoma multiforme) range from relatively benign to highly malignant
Ataxia Defective muscular condition
Atypical Deviating from the normal
Autologous Originating from an individual
Axial Plane which separates the structure into upper and lower parts.
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Benign Not cancer, slow growing, no invasion or spread
Bicortical Both surfaces of bone or brain
Bifrontal Both frontal lobes of brain
Bilateral Both sides
Bone Density Scan A special scan used to check the thickness of bones – also called DEXA scan
Bone Graft Additional bone taken from either the front or back of the iliac crest pelvis bone for fusion at an operation
Bone Morphogenic Proteins Chemicals that improve and speed up the healing of bone (fusion). Two available called BMP-2 (Infuse) and BMP-7 (OP-1)
Bowel Sounds Normal sounds associated with movement of the intestinal contents forward through the bowel
Brachialgia Pain in the arm
Braistem The stemlike part of the brain that connects the cerebral hemispheres with the spinal cord
Bruit A noise heard by a stethoscope in the narrowed blood vessel
Buttocks Muscle prominences posterior to the hips formed by gluteal muscles and underlying structures
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Calcification When tissues or vessels become hardened by the deposition of calcium salts in the tissues
Carcinoma A malignant tumour that occurs in epithelial tissue and may infiltrate local tissues or produce metastases (spread by direct extension through lymphatics or through the bloodstream)
Carotid Main arteries in the neck which supply blood to the front of the brain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain, numbness and weakness in the hand from the median nerve being compressed in its tunnel at the wrist
Catheter A small tube which allows fluids to drain from the body or for injecting dye or medicines into the body
Cauda Equina Nerve roots below spinal cord in lumbar region (resemble the ‘tail of a horse’) supplying lower limbs, bladder, bowel and genital region
Caudal Means ‘tail’ or lower
Cell Saver Machine used during the operation where any blood loss from the patient is filtered and returned to the patient.
Cerebral Angiography Special x-rays using dye to outline the blood vessels of the brain
Cerebellum Part of the base of brain controlling coordination. Means ‘little brain’.
Cerebrospinal The brain and spinal cord
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) The glucose-rich clear fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord
Cerebrovascular The blood vessels of the brain
Cerebrum The thinking part of the brain consisting of two hemispheres. Means ‘main brain’.
Cervical Neck
Cervicogenic Arising from the neck
Cervicothoracic Lower cervical spine and upper thoracic spine
Chemotherapy Drug therapy used to treat cancers
Chiari Malformation Type 1 – condition where the lower parts of the cerebellum protrude through the foramen magnum causing headaches – usually in adults
Type 2 – is where the brainstem also protrudes through the foramen magnum. Associated with hydrocephalus and other abnormalities – usually in children
Claudication Means ‘to limp’ – problems with walking, either due to pressure on nerves (neurogenic claudication) or from narrowed blood vessels (vascular claudication)
Coccygeal Region of the coccyx
Coccyx A small triangular bone at the end of the tailbone. Means ‘cuckoo’s bill’.
Co-Morbidities Associated medical conditions or problems
Complication Something going wrong or the condition worsening
Contra- Prefix indicting against
Contra-Indication Any circumstance that makes an operation or treatment with a drug or device unsafe or inappropriate
Conus Medullaris Lower end of spinal cord – conical shaped
Convulsion Involuntary muscular contractions and relaxations. Also called seizure
Coronal Plane which separates the body into front and back parts
Corticosteroid Steroid hormones secreted by the adrenal gland or manufactured synthetically for use as a drug
Cortisone A hormone from the adrenal gland or made synthetically. It regulates the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, potassium and proteins. Also used as an anti-inflammatory agent
Cosmesis The effect the procedure will have on the appearance of the patient
Craniectomy Opening of bone window in skull for surgical access or pressure release and leaving the bone flap out. The bone flap can be replaced later (see cranioplasty) if needed
Craniocaudal Direction from head to foot
Craniocerebral Relating to the skull and brain
Craniocervical Relating to the head and neck
Craniofacial Concerning the head and face
Cranioplasty Correction of a bone defect in the skull by a bone, acrylic or titanium plate
Craniotomy Opening of bone window in skull for surgical access and then replacing the bone flap and securing this with small titanium plates
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Central nervous system disease that causes rapidly progressive dementia and death
CT Computerised tomography
CUSA Cavitron Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator
Cyst Fluid filled ‘balloon-like’ lump
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Debulking Surgery to remove large portion of a tumour when complete removal is not safe or possible
Deficit A reduction or loss of neurological function
Definitive Final result
Degeneration Wear and tear deterioration by age or an injury; or impairment by a disease of an organ or structure
Dementia A progressive irreversible decline in mental function, marked by memory impairment
Demyelination The process of destruction or removal of the myelin sheath (a segmented fatty lamination composed of myelin that wraps the axons of many nerves in the body) from a nerve or nerve fibre
Denervation Damage to a nerve
Dermatome The area of skin supplied by a nerve
Dexamethasone Special brain steroid used to reduce swelling and inflammation
Diabetes Mellitus A condition where the blood sugar is too high, which is controlled by either diet or insulin
Diagnosis The name given to condition or disease a person has or is believed to have
DIAM Dynamic Interspinous Assisted Motion – a ‘shock-absorber’ prosthesis between the spinous processes
Diffuse Widespread
Diplopia Double vision
Discectomy Removal of part of or all of intervertebral disc
Discogenic Pain arising from an intervertebral disc
Discography Injection to determine whether a disc is ruptured or painful
Dissection The separation of tissue parts or structures for exposure or analysis
Distal Furthest from the centre of the body
Dorsal Back or posterior
Dorsiflexion Flexion or lifting up of the foot at the ankle
Dura The lining of the braor spinal cord
Durotomy Opening of the dura
DVT Deep vein thrombosis – blood clots in veins of legs and pelvis which may embolise (break off and spread) to the lungs
Dysaesthesia Unpleasant ‘burning’ feeling
Dysarthria Distorted enunciation of speech from incoordination of the lip and tongue muscles – content of speech is normal
Dysfunction Abnormal or impaired action of a part
Dysphagia Difficulty in swallowing
Dysphasia Difficulty in forming (expressive) or understanding (receptive) speech
Dysphonia Hoarse voice
Dysuria Painful or burning urination indicating infection or inflammation
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ECG Electrocardiogram (electrical heart tracing)
EEG Electroencephalogram (electrical brain tracing)
Ejaculation Ejection of the seminal fluid from the penis
Electrophysiology The electrical testing of brain, nerve and muscle function
Embolism Sudden obstruction of an artery by a blood clot. Also spread of cancer cells around the body
Embolus A lump of blood clot or cancer cells spreading by blood or lymphatic vessels
EMG Electromyogram (electrical muscle testing)
Eminence A prominence or projection
Encephalitis Inflammation/infection of the brain
Encephalocele A protrusion of the brain through an opening. A ‘brain hernia’.
Endocrinology The science of the endocrine glands, hormones and their functions
Endotracheal Inside the trachea (breathing tube)
Endovascular Inside a blood vessel
Epidural Located above or outside the dura
Epilepsy A disorder marked by recurrent seizures
Epileptic Concerning epilepsy
Epileptiform Having the form or appearance of epilepsy
Erythema Reddening of the skin
Exacerbation Aggravation of symptoms or increase in the severity of a disease
Extraocular Outside the eye, as in extraocular eye muscles that move the eyes
Extubation Removal of an endotracheal breathing tube
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Facet Joint One of the zygapophyseal joints at the back of the spine between the articulating facets of each pair or vertebrae
Fascia A thin fibrous sheet covering and separating muscles
Fasting Going without food
Febrile Feverish
Fibroma A benign fibrous (encapsulated connective tissue) tumour
Fissure A cleft or deep depression in the brain
Flatus Passing wind
Flavum Yellow
Flexion Bending or decreasing angle of a joint
Flexor Retinaculum Ligament forming the roof of the carpal tunnel
Foot Drop Weakness of ankle elevation (dorsi flexion)
Foramen A hole or passage
Foraminotomy Widening of a foramen
Fracture Breaking of a bone
Fragment A small piece of a larger part
Frontal Anterior
Frontoparietal Frontal and parietal bones (bones forming the side of the cranium)
Frontotemporal Frontal and temporal bones (large bones forming part of the lower cranium and containing various cavities and recesses associated with the ear)
Fusion Joining and healing together of bones
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Gait Manner of walking
GBM Glioblastoma Multiforme
Gelfoam A blood clotting or haemostatic dissolvable foam
General Anaesthetic Anaesthetic where you are asleep with a breathing tube protecting your airway
Glioblastoma Multiforme A grade IV malignant astrocytoma. An invasive, rapidly growing solid and/or cystic tumour of the brain or spinal cord
Gyrus One of the winding convolutions of the surface of the brain separated from each other by sulci (grooves)
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Haemangioma A benign tumour of dilated blood vessels
Haemorrhage Bleeding
Haemostasis Stop bleeding
Haematoma Blood clot
Hemiplegia Weakness of one side of the body
Hemisphere Either half of the cerebrum or cerebellum
Hernia The protrusion of an anatomical structure through the wall that normally contains it
Histopathology The microscopic study of diseased tissues
Hoffman’s Reflex An abnormal reflex found in patients with damaged pyramidal tracts of the brain. Flexion of the distal interphalangeal joint of the middle finger makes the thumb of the same hand flex and adduct
Horner’s Syndrome Damage to the sympathetic nerve supply to the eye resulting in a small pupil (miosis) and drooped eyelid (ptosis)
Hydrocephalus The accumulation of excessive amounts of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricles of the brain
Hydrotherapy Walkign and exercising in water
Hyperextension Extreme or abnormal extension
Hyper intensity Bright signal
Hypertension Abnormally high blood pressure
Hypothenar Little finger
Hypothenar eminence The muscle prominence in the palm at the base of the little finger
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ICD Intercostal drain or chest drain
ICU Intensive Care Unit
IDET Intradiscal Electrothermal herapy
Idiopathic Condition of unknown cause
IDUC Indwelling or Urethral Catheter
Iliac Crest The hip or upper free margin of the ilium
Ilium The uppermost of the three bones that make up the hipbone
Image Guidance Frameless intraoperative computer guidance system. Two main systems – ‘Brainlab’ and ‘Stealth’
Impingement Compression or narrowing
Incise To cut
Incontinence Loss of sphincter control, usually of bladder or bowel
Infarct ‘Stroke’ in brain or ‘heart attack’ in heart
Infection A disease caused by bacteria, fungi or a virus
Inferior Below or lower
Inflammation Localised area of heat, swelling, redness and pain as a reaction to injury or infection
Infundibulum A ‘funnel-shaped’ passage. The tube connecting the frontal sinus with the middle nasal meatus. The stalk of the pituitary gland.
Innervation Nerve supply
Instability Abnormal movement
Instrumentation Titanium screws, rods and plates
Interarticular Between two joints
Intermittent Coming and going
Intermuscular Between muscles
Interosseous Between bones
Interscapular Between the shoulder blades (scapulae)
Intubation The insertion of a tube usually into the trachea to maintain a safe airway
Invasive Tending to spread
Ischaemia A temporary deficiency of blood flow to an organ or tissue
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Jerk A sudden muscular movement. Certain reflex action resulting from tapping a muscle tendon
Joint The point of juncture between two bones
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Kyphosis Forward curve (concave anteriorly) of the spine
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Lamina The flattened part of either side of the vertebral arch
Laminectomy Removal of the laminae
Laminotomy Small opening made in a lamina
Lateral To the side
Lavage Washing out of a cavity
Leg The portion of the lower limb between the knee and ankle
Lhermitte’s sign A sudden electric shock down through the body produced by flexion or extension of the neck – indicates cervical cord pathology
Ligamentous Relating to a ligament
Ligamentum flavum Yellow ligament
Local anaesthetic Anaesthetic where you are awake but the area being operated on is made numb by an injection
Lordosis Backward curve (concave posteriorly) of the spine
Loupes Special magnifying glasses used for operating
Lower limb The lower extremity from the hip to the toes
Lumbar The part of the back between the thorax and pelvis
Lumbosacral Of the lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum
Lymphoma A malignant tumour of the lymph nodes
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Macro Adenoma A glandular tumour more than 10mm in diameter
Malignant Cancer
Mane Morning
Mechanical Movement
Medial To the middle
Medulloblastoma A soft infiltrating malignant tumour of the roof of the fourth ventricle and cerebellum
Melanoma A malignant tumour of melanocytes that often begins in a darkly pigmented mole and can metastasise widely
Meninges The three membranes enclosing the brain and spinal cord
Meningioma A slow growing tumour that grows from the lining of the brain or spinal cord
Meningitis Inflammation and infection of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord
Meralgia Pain in the thigh
Metastasis Spread of bacteria or cancer cells from one part of the body to another
Microdiscectomy ‘Keyhole’ surgery to remove the prolapsed damaged part of the intervertebral disc
Microscope Optical instrument that greatly magnifies small objects
Microsurgery Fine surgery using magnification, specialised instruments, fine sutures and meticulous techniques to repair tissues
Micturate To pass urine from the bladder
Middle Fossa The bony floor of the side of the skull forming the roof of the inner and middle parts of the ear
Migraine A familial disorder marked by periodic, usually unilateral, pulsatile headaches that begins in childhood or early adult life and tend to recur regularly
Miosis Small pupil
Mobility Being mobile
Morbidity Disease or sickness
Mortality Death
MRA Magnetic Resonance Angiogram – using the MRI to show fine detail of blood vessels of the brain
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging – images using a magnet to align water which shows fine details of soft tissues such as brain, spinal cord, nerves, discs, ligaments, muscles and internal organs
Multislice Multiple very fine slice images using a CT scanner (same as multidetector)
Myalgia Tenderness or pain in the muscles
Mydriasis Dilated pupil
Myelogram A special x-ray where dye is injected by a lumbar puncture to outline the spinal cord and its nerve roots in lying and standing positions
Myeloma A malignant tumour of bone marrow
Myelomalacia Abnormal thinning of the spinal cord
Myelopathy Compression or pathology of the spinal cord
Myocardial Infarction Heart Attack
Myopathy Muscle disease marked by muscular weakness and wasting
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Neoplasm Tumour – Can be benign or malignant
Nerve A fibre that transmits electrical and chemical signals between the brain and spinal cord to muscles and skin
Nerve Conduction Studies Electrical test to determine the degree and timing of any nerve damage
Nerve entrapment Compressive of a nerve(s) resulting in nerve damage. May cause numbness, pain or weakness
Neuralgia Severe pain occurring along the course of a nerve
Neuritis Inflammation of a nerve
Neuroblastoma A malignant haemorrhagic tumour composed principally of cells resembling neuroblasts that give rise to cells of the sympathetic system
Neurofibroma A fibrous tumour of a nerve causing a growth in the nerve
Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and type 2 genetic disorder associated with multiple different tumours
Neurogenic Arising from nerves
Neurologist A specialist in diseases of the nervous system
Neurology The branch of medicine that deals with the nervous system and its diseases
Neurolysis Relieving pressure or ‘loosening’ a nerve to relieve pain and improve function
Neuroma Benign tumour or a nerve
Neurosurgeon A surgeon specializing in surgery of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and spine
Neurosurgery Surgery of the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves and spine
Nocte Night
Nociception The sensation of a nerve to an unpleasant stimulus
NSAID Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug, e.g. Voltaren
Nucleoplasty A procedure where a thin wire is passed into the damaged disc with heat applied to improve discogenic pain and shrink a contained disc herniation
Nucleus Pulposus Shock absorber gel composed of proteins and water inside an intervertebral disc
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Occipital The back part of the skull
Occult Hard to demonstrate
Oesophagus Food pipe
Operation A surgical procedure
Osteo Bone
Osteoarthritis A ‘wear and tear’ type arthritis marked by progressive cartilage deterioration in synovial joints and vertebrae
Osteoarthropathy Any disease involving the joints and bones
Osteopenia ‘Thinning of bones’ – any decrease in the amount of bone tissue
Osteophyte A bony spur from wear and tear
Osteoporosis ‘Thinning of bones’ which predisposes patients to fractures
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Palmar Concerning the palm
Palpable Perceptible, especially by touch
Palpation Examination by application of the hands or fingers to the external surface of the body to detect evidence of disease or abnormalities
Palsy Paralysis
Paracentral Located near the centre
Paeaesthesia ‘Pins and needles’ sensation
Paralysis Loss of movement
Paplegia Paralysis of the lower portion of the trunk and of both lower limbs
Para Spinal Adjacent to the spine
Parenchymal The functional tissues of an organ or gland
Paresis Partial or incomplete paralysis
Parietal Forming the wall of a cavity – of the parietal bone, being one of two bones that together form the posterior roof and sides of the skull
Parietofrontal Concerning the parietal or frontal bones or lobes
Parieto-occipital Concerning the parietal and occipital (back of the head) bones or lobes
Parietotemporal Concerning the parietal and temporal (temple) bones or lobes
Pars A part
Pars Interarticularis The region between the superior and inferior articulating facets of a vertebra. A region where fracture frequently occurs with spondylolysis.
Patent Wide open
Pathology The study of the nature and cause of disease which involves changes in structure and function. A condition produced by disease
PCA Patient controlled analgesia
PE Pulmonary embolus – a blood clot to the lungs
PEEK Poly-ether-ether-ketone (‘space age plastic’)
Pedal Concerning the foot
Pedicle The bony process that projects backward from the body of a vertebra, connecting with the lamina on each site. It forms the root of the vertebral arch
Peduncle A brachium of the brain
Percutaneous Throught the skin
Perianal Around the anus
Perineum The structures occupying the pelvic outlet and constituting the pelvic floor
Peripheral Located at or relating to the periphery. Occurring away from the centre
Peritoneal Concerning the peritoneum
Peritoneum An extensive serous membrane that lines the entire abdominal wall of the body and is reflected over the internal organs
Petrous Means a rock or stone; the petrous part of the temporal bone
Phalen’s Sign Pain or tingling in the hand after complete wrist flexion (of the fully extended hand) which aids in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome
Pilates A very structured form of muscle conditioning, stretching and exercise
Pituitary Adenoma Benign tumour of the pituitary gland – micro adenoma <10mm and macro adenoma >10mm in size
Pituitary Gland The pea-sized ‘master gland’ controlling the hormones and salt/water balance in the body – located at the base of the brain behind the nose
Plantar Concerning the sole of the foot
Plantar Flexion Extension of the foot at the ankle touching the forefoot to the ground
Platysma Thin superficial muscle lining the front of the neck
PLIF Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Pneumonia Infection of thee lungs
Posterior Located behind or towards the back
Posterior Column Back part of the spinal column
Posterior Column Injections Injections with local anaesthetic and steroid into the back part of the spinal column
Postoperative Following surgery
Preoperative Before surgery
Prodisc-C Cervical artificial disc prosthesis
Prodisc-L Lumbar artificial disc prosthesis
Prone Lying face down
Prophylactic Any treatment or drug that aims to prevent an infection or disease
Prosthesis Replacement of a damaged or missing part by an artificial substitute
Proximal Closest to the centre of the body
Ptosis Drooped eyelid
Pulmonary Concerning the lungs
Pulmonary Embolus Blood clots to lungs causing chest pain, difficulty breathing and rarely death
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Quadriceps Thigh muscles
Quadriplegia Paralysis below the neck of all four extremities
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Radicular In the distribution of a nerve root
Radiculopathy Damage or disease of a nerve root
Radiology The branch of medicine concerned with imaging investigations – x-rays, CT, MRI, ultrasound, bone scans and cerebral angiography
Radiotherapy The targeted treatment of tumours with radiation, either in a single high does (‘stereotactic radiosurgery’) or in multiple small doses (‘stereotactic radiotherapy’)
Recurrence Relapse
Referral Sending a patient to another practitioner or specialty programme for consultation or treatment
Reflex An involuntary response to a stimulus
Rehabilitation The processes of treatment and education that help patients recover from an operation or injury
Re-Incised Re opened
Resect To cut out or remove
Retractor An instrument for holding back the margins of a wound
Retro Backward or behind
Retroauricular Behind the suricle or ear
Retroorbital Behind the orbit (eye socket)
Retrolisthesis Backward slip of one vertebra onto another
Retrosigmoid Behind the sigmoid (s-shaped) venous sinus
RFD Radio Frequency Denervation – a procedure where an electrical wire is passed through the skin to treat a painful joint with a current of heat to relieve pain
Rheumatologist Physician who specialises in diseases of joints and muscles
Rhizolysis Decompressing or ‘loosening’ a nerve root
Risk Chances something going wrong with a procedure. Same as complication.
Rostral Towards the head or above
Rotation The process of turning on an axis
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Sacral Relating to the sacrum
Sacroiliac Joint The joint between the sacrum and ilium (i.e. between the tailbone and hipbone)
Sacrum The triangular ‘tail bone’ below the lumbar spine
Saddle Area The portion of the buttocks, perineum and upper posterior thighs that comes into contact with the seat of the saddle. (Altered saddle area sensation indicates a cauda equina or conus lesion)
Sagittal Plane which separates the body into right and left parts
Sarcoma A cancer arising from connective tissue such as muscle or bone
Scapula The shoulder blade bone
Scar A mark left in the skin or an internal organ by the healing of a wound or injury
Schwann Cells The lining cells of a nerve
Schwannoma A benign tumour arising from the lining cells of a nerve
Sciatica ‘Leg pain’ – pain emanating from the low back that is felt along the distribution of the sciatic nerve into the lower limb
Scoliosis An abnormal lateral curvature of the spine
Sedation The process of allying nervous excitement. A minimally depressed level of consciousness during which the patient retains the ability to maintain a patent airway and respond appropriately to physical or verbal commands
Seizure A convulsion, episode of sensory disturbance or loss of consciousness caused by a sudden discharge of electrical activity in the brain
Sensation A feeling or awareness
Septum A wall dividing two cavities
Sequelae A condition following and resulting from a disorder or disease
Sequential Occuring in order
Sequestrated Fragment of nucleus pulposus broken off from the intervertebral disc
Shunt An artificial tube to divert flow from one area to another
Sign An objective physical finding on examining a patient
Skull The bony framework of the head
Spasm An involuntary sudden movement or muscular contraction that occurs as a result of some irritant or trauma
Spasticity A motor disorder that demonstrates velocity dependent increased muscle tone, exaggerated tendon jerks and clonus
Specialist A professional who has advanced education and training in one clinical area of practice
Sphenoid Wedge shaped
Sphenoid Bone The large bone at the base of the skull that has the ethmoid bone in front of it, the occipital bone behind it and the parietal and temporal bones at the sides
Sphincter A circular muscle constricting an orifice, such as the bladder or anus
Spinal Cord Tube of nervous tissue connecting the brain to the body. Extends from the foramen magnum to the upper lumbar region
Spinal Fusion Operation to join together or fuse adjacent vertebrae. Performed using anterior, posterior or combined (both) approaches
Spine Backbone (vertebral column)
Spondylo- Means vertebra
Spondylolisthesis The slipping (subluxation) of one vertebra onto another
Spondylolysis Defect in the pars interarticularis. If bilateral, can result in ‘isthmic or lytic’ spondylolisthesis
Spondylosis ‘Wear and tear’ degenerative disease in the spine
Stabilization The act of making something more rigid
Stenosis Narrowing
Stereotactic Localising a tumour or lesion by precise three dimensional spatial coordinates using a CT or MRI scan
Stroke A sudden loss of consciousness or neurological function caused by interruption of blood flow to the brain by a clot or bleed
Subarachnoid Below the arachnoid membrane (thin, delicate membrane enclosing the brain and the spinal cord, interposed between the pia mater and the dura mater)
Subarticular Below a joint
Subdural Located below the dura (the outermost and most fibrous of the three membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord)
Subluxation A partial or incomplete dislocation
Sulcus A groove or slight depression, especially of the brain
Superior Above or higher
Supinate To turn the forearm and hand so that the palm faces upward
Supinator Muscle producing supination of the forearm
Supra- Above
Surgeon A medical practisioner who specialises in surgery
Surgicell A blood clotting or haemostatic dissolvable mesh
Suture The thread, wire or other material used to stitch parts of the body together
Symptom Any subjective change in the body or its functions as reported by the patient
Symptomatic Of or concerning a symptom
Syndrome A collection of symptoms, signs, laboratory and radiological findings
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Tachycardia An abnormally fast heart rate
TCP Tri-Calcium Phosphate (bone substitute)
TED Stockings ‘Thromboembolic Disease Stockings’ – elastic calf stocking to prevent blood clots in veins
Temporal In relation to the temple
Temporal bone A bone on both sides of the skull at its base
Temporalis The muscle in the temporal fossa that elevates the mandible
Theca A sheath of investing membrane around the lumbar nerves
Thenar Thumb
Thenar Eminence The muscle prominence at the base of the thumb
Thigh The proximal portion of the lower limb between the hip joint and the knee
Thoracotomy Opening into the chest wall
Thorax Chest
Thrombosis The formation or presence of a blood clot within blood vessels
Thrombus Blood clot
Tinel’s Sign Pain or tingling in the hand produced by tapping over the median nerve at the wrist which aids in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome
Titanium Extremely strong but light metal used for surgical implants. MRI compatible and will not activate security x-ray machines
TLIF Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Torsion A twisting movement
Torticollis Stiff and twisted neck associated with muscle spasm
Tract A group of nerve fibres within the spinal cord or brain that act together as an anatomical and functional unit
Trachea Breathing pipe
Traction The process of pulling
Transforaminal Through a foramen (an opening in a bone)
Translabyrinthine Through the bony part of the ear
Transsphenoidal Through the sphenoid sinus
Transverse Across at right angles to the long axis of the body
Trapezius A flat, triangular muscle covering the posterior surface of the neck and shoulder
Trauma A physical injury or wound caused by external force or violence; a distressing or emotionally disturbing experience
Triceps Muscle on the back of the arm for extending the elbow
Trigeminal Nerve The fifth cranial nerve supplies sensation to the face and moves the chewing muscles
Trigger Point An area of tissue (usually muscle) that is tender when compressed and gives rise to referred pain
Trunk The body exclusive of head and limbs
TURP Transurethral resection of prostate
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Ulna The inner and larger bone of the forearm between the wrist and elbow
Ultrasound Non-invasive scan using sound waves to detect muscle/ligament injuries, hernias or swelling/narrowing of blood vessels
Uncovertebral Joint The joint formed between the lateral parts of two cervical vertebral bodies
Unilateral One side
Upper Limb Upper extremity between shoulder and hand
Urinary Retention Inability to empty the bladder, treated by a urinary catheter
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
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Vascular Composed of blood cells
Vasogenic Arising from blood cells
Vein A vessel carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart (except for pulmonary veins which carry oxygenated blood)
Venous Relating to veins
Ventilation The movement of air into and out of the lungs
Ventilator A machine for artificial breathing
Ventral Front or anterior
Ventricle One of the fluid cavities of the brain
Ventriculomegaly Enlarged vebtricles
Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Shunt tubing draining excess CSF from the lateral ventricles of the brain to the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen
Vertebra Bone segments of the spine
Vertebral Arch Bony ring formed by the pedicles and laminae enclosing and protecting the spinal cord and cauda equina
Vestibular Schwannoma Acoustic neuroma
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Warfarin Blood thinning tablet to prevent clots
Weakness Lack of strength or power
Whiplash Injury A term for injury to the cervical vertebrae and adjacent soft tissues. Produced by a sudden jerking backward or forward of the head
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X-Ray An image formed by high frequency electromagnetic radiation to view bones
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Zygapophyseal joint One of the paired facet joints at the back of the spine providing stability to the vertebrae
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Suite 8.3
89 Bridge Rd,
Richmond VICTORIA 3121

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