Spine Glossary

sort descending Term description
COX-2 inhibitor

Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor. A class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication that works by blocking the enzyme COX-2, preventing pain and swelling associated with arthritis.


Cerebrospinal fluid. Fluid filling the dural sac and providing nourishment to the neural elements in the spinal canal and brain cavities.


Computerized tomography. A diagnostic imaging test. In CT scanning, X-rays are employed to generate cross sectional images. The high resolution CT scan provides excellent viewing of bones and bone spaces. CT scanning does not image soft tissues as well. Also known as a CAT scan.


Demineralized bone matrix. Material that enhances bone growth.


Doctor of Chiropractic.


Surgical removal of pressure from nerve roots or spinal cord to relieve.

degenerative disc disease (DDD)

A catch-all term to describe degenerative changes in the disc(s) caused by aging or wear and tear.


The intervertebral disc is a combination of strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next, and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. It is made of a tough outer layer called the ?annulus fibrosus? and a gel-like center called the ?nucleus pulposus.?


Surgical procedure in which part of a herniated disc is removed. The goal of the surgery is to make the herniated disc stop pressing on and irritating the nerves which cause pain and weakness. These procedures may be done as an open procedure, with a microscope or via a minimally invasive method.


Inflammation of the disc.