PAIN - An unpleasant sensation associated
with actual or potential tissue damage, and mediated
by specific nerve fibers to the brain where its conscious
appreciation may be modified by various factors.
PAPILLEDEMA - Swelling of the optic nerve head, can
be seen in the back of the retina during eye examination.
PARAPLEGIA - Paralysis of the lower part of the body
including the legs.
PARAVERTEBRAL MUSCLE SPASM - Spasm in the muscles on
either side of the spinous processes (midline of the
back); the term may be used to describe a physical finding
or improperly used to define a disease process.
PARIETAL LOBE - The middle portion of each cerebral
PARS INTERARTICULARS - The posterior continuation of
the spinal arch from the pedicle; the superior and inferior
facets are connected to each other by the pars interarticulars.
PATHOLOGIC - Generalized or localized bone disease
PATHOLOGY - The study of disease states.
PECTORAL (also PECTORALIS) - Relating to the chest.
PEDICLE -The part of each side of the neural arch of
a vertebra. It connects the lamina with the vertebral
body. The first portion of the posterior spine arising
from the vertebral body.
PERIOSTEUM - A fibrous membrane that covers the surface
of bone except at the end of the bones where it is covered
with cartilage as part of a joint. In children, periosteum
is involved in forming new bone and molding the configuration
of bone; and in the adult, the periosteum forms new
bone secondary to injury or infection.
PERITONEAL CAVITY - Body cavity in which the abdominal
organs are situated.
PHRENIC NERVE - Nerve arising from three cervical nerve
roots (C-3 to C-5); supplies the diaphragm.
PHYSICAL - Relating to the body, as distinguished from
PHYSICAL THERAPY - The treatment consisting of exercising
specific parts of the body such as the legs, arms, hands
or neck, in an effort to strengthen, regain range of
motion, relearn movement and/or rehabilitate the musculoskeletal
system to improve function.
PHYSIOLOGY -The science of the functioning of living
organisms, and of their component systems or parts.
PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME - A clinical diagnosis based on
complaints of pain and abnormal sensations in the buttocks
region with extension into the hips and posterior thigh
as would be seen in sciatica.
PITUITARY - Gland at base of the brain which secretes
hormones into the blood stream. Those hormones then
regulate other glands including the thyroid, adrenals
and gonads. The "Master Gland".
PLATYSMA - Thin outermost muscle layer of the anterior
PLEXITIS - Inflammation of the plexus.
PLEXUS - A network or interjoining of nerves and blood
vessels or of lymphatic vessels.
POLYNEURITIS - Inflammation of two or more nerves simultaneously.
PORENCEPHALY - Abnormal cavity within brain tissue,
usually resulting from outpouching of a lateral ventricle.
POSTERIOR - The back of the body or situated nearer
the back of the body.
POSTERIOR APPROACH - Used for laminectomies and spinal
fusions at any level; Hibbs, Wagoner.
POSTERIOR CERVICAL SPINAL FUSION - Spinal fusion done
from the back, using the lamina, facets, and spinous
processes of the neck.
POSTERIOR NECK MUSCLES - Splenius, spinalis, and semispinalis.
POSTERIOR FOSSA - The internal base of the skull.
POSTERIOR LUMBAR SPINAL FUSION - Spinal fusion done
from the back using the lamina, the facets, and spinous
processes of the lower back.
POSTERIOR SPINAL FUSION - A fusion of the cervical,
thoracic, or lumbar regions primarily fusing the lamina
and sometimes the facet joints, using iliac or other
POSTERIOR SPINAL MUSCLE SEGMENTS - Upper and lower
posterior serratus m., spinalis m., semispinalis m.,
POSTEROLATERAL (P/L) - Behind and to one side, specifically
to the outer side.
POSTEROLATERAL INTERBODY FUSION (PLIF) - Lumbar spine
fusion that involves an interbody fusion accomplished
through the posterior approach.
POSTEROLATERAL FUSION - A fusion of both the lamina
and transverse process, using the iliac bone for graft,
usually in the lower lumbar and first sacral segments.
POST-ICTAL - State following a seizure, often characterized
by altered function of the limbs and/or mentation.
POSTURE - The position of the limbs or the carriage
of the body as a whole.
POTT d - Tuberculosis of the spine, usually in the
lower thoracic segments.
POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS - Instruments which are
powered by compressed air or electricity and are used
in surgical procedures to cut, drill, or otherwise remove
bone and cartilage, as well as to evacuate fluids.
PRE-CLINICAL STUDIES - Tests occurring prior to clinical
studies, usually in vitro or in vivo involving animals.
The purpose of these studies is to determine the safety
and efficacy of the test material.
PREMARKET NOTIFICATION [510(k)] - A regulatory method
for gaining clearance from the FDA to market a device.
The FDA is petitioned by a company to determine if a
particular medical device is "substantially equivalent"
to a device which was commercially available prior to
May 28, 1976. This method usually applies to Class I
or II medical devices.
PREMARKET APPROVAL (PMA) - A regulatory method for
gaining a marketing clearance from the FDA for a Class
III medical device. A company submits information to
the FDA that documents the safety and effectiveness
of the device.
PRONATOR - A muscle which turns a part into the prone
PROPRIOCEPTION - Sensation concerning movements of
joints and position of the body in space.
PROSTHESIS - An artificial body part such as an artificial
leg or arm. The term prosthesis is also used to describe
some of the implants used in the body such as a hip
or knee replacement device.
PROTRUSION - Displaced nuclear material causes a discrete
bulge in the annulus, but no material escapes through
the annular fibers.
PROXIMAL - Nearest the center of the body.
PSEUDOTUMOR CEREBRI - Raised intracranial pressure,
usually causing only headache and papilledema. No clear
underlying structural abnormality.
PSEUDOARTHROSIS (also PSEUDARTHROSIS) - A form of non-union
in which there is the formation of a false joint with
some cartilage covering the ends of the bones and a
cavity containing fluid that resembles a normal joint.
PSEUDOCLAUDUCATION - Increased pain and decreased strength
in lower limbs associated with physical activity. Complaints
are similar to those caused by insufficient blood supply
to the limb but are caused by diminished blood supply
to the nerves in a narrowed spinal canal.
PUPIL - The black part of the eye through which light
enters; enlarges in dim light and decreases in size
in bright light.
PYRAMIDAL TRACT - Carries the voluntary muscle messages
from the brain.
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