Glossary

Brain Abscess — A collection of infected fluid surrounded by damaged and inflamed tissue in the brain, caused by an infection.

Brain Hemorrhage — This is bleeding from a cerebral artery into brain tissue.

Burr Hole — A 1-cm diameter hole cut in the skull using a drill.

Cervical — A term that refers to the neck cervical spine is that part of the spine which supports the neck.

Contrast — The dye given to enhance a scan.

Craniotomy — An opening made in the bones of the skull by a surgeon to get access to the brain.

Degenerative — Degenerative disease is one in which there is a worsening of physical qualities affecting particular tissues or part of the body, often leading to impairment of function.

EEG — This is a study of the electric activity in the brain.

EMG — This is a test of the electrical activity of the nerves and muscles in the arms and legs.

Epidural — The name given to the space just outside the membranes which enclose the spinal cord and the nerves in the spinal canal. Injections into this space are sometimes used to help relieve pain.

Graft — Unattached tissue or bone for transplantation.

Herniation — Any abnormal bulge of body part.

Laminectomy — An operation to remove the bone arches at the back of the spine, either to decompress nerve in the spine or to provide access to these nerves so that a more involved procedure can take place.

Lumbar — The name given to the lowest mobile portion of the spine.

Malignant Tumor — A tumor that invades and destroys the tissue where it originates and which can spread to other sites in the body.

Metastases — The spread of disease, especially malignant tumors to other tissues.

Microdiscectomy — An operation to remove part of an intervertebral disc usually in order to release a trapped nerve but with minimal disruption of the spinal muscles and other tissues.

Minimally Invasive Surgery — A surgery that is conducted through a small incision, minimizing damage to normal tissue in order to treat the problem causing symptoms.

Radiotherapy — Ionizing radiation treatment (such as X- or Gamma Ray) which damages tumor cells more then normal cells.

Shunt — A device which is inserted to remove fluid from the brain or a tumor.

Spinal Cord — The main nerve of the body that runs from the brain downwards to the back.

Spine — The structure from skull base to pelvis comprising bones, spinal cord and nerve roots with enclosing membranes.

Spondylosis — A condition where there is a defect of vertebra.

Spinal Fusion — A surgical procedure to permanently join bone by interconnecting two or more vertebrae in order to prevent motion.

Tumor — Any abnormal swelling in or around any part of the body. This swelling occurs as a result of an overgrowth of cells.

Thalamus — An area in the center of the brain.