Spine Glossary

sort descending Term description

Food and Drug Administration. U.S. government consumer protection agency that promotes and protects public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way and monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use.

fluoroscopic guidance

Use of radiologic imaging to assist in the placement of instrumentation for invasive diagnostic and surgical procedures.


A surgical procedure performed to eliminate movement over painful or unstable spinal segments. Spinal fusion is often used to treat degenerative disc disease but is also used to treat scoliosis, kyphosis, fractures and tumors. Bone is grafted across a section of the spine where it grows together fusing the area.







herniated disc

With age, the center of vertebral discs may start to lose water content, making the disc less effective as a cushion, causing displacement of the disc?s center (herniated or ruptured disc) through a crack in the outer layer. Most disc herniations occur in the bottom two discs of the lumbar spine, at and just below the waist. A herniated disc can press on a nerve root in the spine and may cause back pain or pain, numbness, tingling or weakness of the leg called ?sciatica.? Also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, or herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP). Can also occur in the neck and rarely in the thoracic portion of the spine.

herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP)

See Herniated Disc.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. United States government?s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.


Health maintenance organization.