Cage, Fusion: A hollow titanium cylinder
or box, that holds two vertebrae in place and carries bone
graft material in its interior.
Cancellous bone: The loose, open, lattice
of bony material within the center of many bones.
Carbon fiber: Material used in aeronautics
and increasingly in medicine, that provides a hard lightweight
Carotid artery: One of the main arteries
running up the neck and into the face and brain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: A compression at
the wrist, that causes a pinch of the median nerve affecting
the thumb, 2nd and 3rd fingers of the hand.
CAT scanning: x-ray based system for producing
cross-sectional images for medical examination.
Catheter: A tube used for delivery of fluids
or withdrawing fluids.
Caudal: Towards the lower end of the body.
Caudal epidural: An injection into the epidural
space placed throught the sacrum.
Causalgia: A nerve-based pain associated
with nerve or bodily injury.
Cell saver: A machine that aspirates blood
lost during surgery and cleans it for re-transfusion back
into the patient's body.
Central canal: The central portion of the
vertebral column in which the spinal cord is found.
Central nervous system: The brain and spinal
Central pain: Pain that is based primarily
in abnormal function within the spinal cord or brain.
Cerebellar tonsils: The lowest end of the
brain that may, in some conditions, extend throught the level
of the foramen magnum.
Cerebellum: A posterior and low portion of
the brain involved in the smooth coordination of movement.
Cerebral cortex: The upper, superior covering
over the brain involved in higher level integration and thought.
Cerebral palsy: An associated condition with
birth in which abnormal levels of spasticity prevent normal
Cerebrospinal fluid: A clear fluid that bathes
the brain and spinal cord.
Cervical: Associated with the neck.
Cervical spine: The vertebrae in the neck.
Cervical plate: A titanium device used to
secure and hold cervical vertebrae in place during the that
they are fusing after a surgery.
Chelator: A chemical that removes metal ions
Chest tube: A catheter tube placed through
the chest wall to help re-inflate a collapsed lung.
Chiropractic: A process of manipulation of
the vertebrae and spine to achieve relief of pain or muscle
Chyle: A fluid produced in the digestive
tract and that carries nutrients from digestion up the thoracic
duct and into the neck it flows in to the venous system.
Claudication: Leg pain with walking, associated
either with inadequate blood supply to the legs or circumferential
compression of the spinal canal.
Clotting factors: Chemicals in the blood
that allow the blood to form clots and halt bleeding.
Cobaltion: A heat-based process for evaporating
Coccyx: The lowest portion of the spine.
Cohort study: A research evaluation of a
spinal technique, the follows a large number of patients with
similar conditions to assess the affect of different treatments.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (also: Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophy): Type of paint that does not respond to
the usual medications and that involves the autonomic nervous
Compression stockings: Stockings worn to
prevent the pooling of blood in the veins and to reduce the
risk of deep vein clots (thrombosis) in the legs.
concordant: The experience of pain during
a disc injection procedure, implying that the pain is similar
to the pain the patient usually experiences from their condition.
Consent from: Statement of understanding
by the patient of the nature of a medical intervention giving
the permission for the treating physician to proceed.
Contrast agent: An injected material that
helps distinguish the appearance of two or more tissues during
radiological imaging tests.
Cortical bone: The hard outer aspect of bone.
Cortical responses: Electrical activity on
the surface of the brain (cerebral cortex) detected by an
evoked potential monitoring system.
Costovertebral: The area of the thoracic
spine where the rib meets the vertebra.
Cox II inhibitors: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
medications that are less imitating to the stomach than the
routine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
CPT: Current procedural terminology, A code
system for providing a numerical description of the various
components of medical care.
Cranial: Towards the head or associated with
Cranium: The skull.
Cubital tunnel: An area in the distal humerus
(upper arm bone) through which the ulnar nerve passes as it
crosses the elbow, in general, the area of the "funny
Cyst: An abnormal enclosed fluid space within