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crowding or clustering together




less sharp; dull

cesarean section

delivery of a fetus by making an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus


a practitioner of chiropractic, a conservative science of applied neurophysiology: chiropractic theory is that irritation of the nervous system is the cause of disease

Cloward saddle

surgical equipment in which a patient is placed for back surgery, trade name

contrast medium

any substance administered internally that has a different opacity from soft tissue, allowing visualization of structures on radiography or CT




having a surface that is rounded and somewhat elevated

curette or curet

spoon-shaped surgical instrument for removing tissue from a cavity wall or other bodily surface


trade name for drug used to treat mild to moderate pain

denies x3

used in the Social History to refer to the fact the patient denies the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs


made up of separate and distinct parts or defined by lesions that do not become unified


removal of an intervertebral disk


drug used as a vasoconstrictor, cardiac stimulant, and bronchodilator, generic name


to worsen or make more severe

facet arthropathy

disease or abnormality of the joints (facet joints) of the vertebrae


trade name for drug used to treat muscle spasm

focal degeneration

main area or center of deterioration


a powerful disinfectant gas, used in water as a fluid to preserve tissue removed at surgery for pathologic evaluation; same as formaldehyde

Gelfoam sponge

trade name for absorbable gelatin sponge; sterile, they are used in surgery to stop the flow of blood


low area, trough, or groove (posterior gutter: area deep and low in the chest where fluid accumulates when in the erect position)

herniated disk

rupture of the intervertebral disk cartilage, allowing contents to protrude through it, putting pressure on the spinal nerve roots; can cause pain

ICD Code 540.9

the diagnosis code for necrotizing acute appendicitis


abbreviation for id est (that is)


periodically stopping and starting again at separated intervals


located between two adjoining vertebrae


trade name for an antibiotic

2+ knee and ankle jerks

this phrase refers to the sudden reflex or involuntary movements made when the examiner uses a rubber hammer to tap the reflex points of the knees and ankles; part of the neurologic exam: in this case they are graded as 2+, which means average or normal


lumbar spine; denotes disk space between the 1st and 2nd lumbar vertebrae


lumbar spine; denotes disk space between the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae


lumbar spine; denotes disk space between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae


lumbar spine; denotes disk space between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae


lumbar spine and sacral spine; denotes space between 5th lumbar vertebrae and 1st sacral vertebra


part of the back of the bony arch of each vertebra


removal of a lamina

lateral recess syndrome

in spinal anatomy, the lateral recess is within the spinal canal; narrowing of the lateral recess causes compression of the nerve roots, which causes pain in the back and legs and difficulty walking

ligamentum flavum

band of yellow elastic tissue that assists in maintaining or regaining the erect position between 2 adjoining vertebrae (sometimes called yellow ligament)

light touch

when an examiner lightly strokes a part of the body, such as the extremities, to determine the patient's ability to feel; used in evaluation of the central nervous system


pertaining to the lumbar region of the spine and the sacrum; low back and pelvis


the record produced by an x-ray of the spinal cord obtained after injection of dye into the spinal canal

nipple retraction

the inward displacement of the nipple below the level of the surrounding breast tissue


trade name for a drug used to treat muscle spasms

Pap smear

a smear of cells taken from the vagina or cervix to be studied for evidence of cancer; named for Dr. George N. Papanicolaou, 1883 to 1962


when the examiner actually pricks a patient's skin with a sharp point to determine feeling; part of the evaluation of the central nervous system


a serous membrane lining the thoracic or pleural cavity


lying face downward

radicular pain

pain along an area of distribution of a specific nerve or nerves caused by pressure on the nerve root; pain may be felt in the low back or legs or, in cervical radicular pain, in one or both arms


a surgical instrument used for cutting tough tissue, such as bone

S1 root

nerve root exiting from the spinal cord and passing through the vertebra of the sacral spine, 1st vertebra


the sacral and iliac spines— where they join, with associated ligaments


in physical examination of the abdomen, the abdominal wall has a concave, or sunken, contour


a sideways deviation in the normally straight vertical line of the spine (S-shaped spine)


abbreviation for surgical intensive care umit (sometimes dictated "sic-u")


small projecting outgrowths from any structure; most often pertaining to bony outgrowths

straight-leg raising or straight leg raising

the examiner observes the patient's ability to raise the legs; part of the evaluation of the central nervous system

subarachnoid space

space between the arachnoid membrane and the pia mater, 2 of the layers of membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord

Tylenol with codeine

brand name anti-inflammatory pain reliever with narcotic taken for relief of moderate to severe pain


brand name antibiotic-impregnated transparent plastic sheet used in surgery to cover area surrounding the surgical field

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