Glossary

Myths

Contacts

A

adolescent scoliosis
Lateral spinal curvature that appears before the onset of puberty and before skeletal maturity.
angle of trunk inclination (ATI)
with the trunk flexed to the horizontal,the angle between the horizontal and the plane across the back at the greatest elevation of a rib prominence or lumbar prominence, as measured by an inclinometer (scoliometer).
apical disc
in a curve, the disc most deviated laterally from the vertical axis of the patient that passes through the sacrum, i.e. from the central sacral line.
apical vertebra
in a curve, the vertebra most deviated laterally from the vertical axis that passes through the patient's sacrum, i.e. from the central sacral line.
autologous blood
Blood collected from a person for later transfusion to the same person. This technique is often used prior to elective surgery if blood loss is expected to occur. This may avoid the use of bank blood from unknown donors and significantly reduces the risk of acquiring transmitted.
autotransfusion
The practice and technique of transfusing previously drawn autologous blood to the same patient.

B

C

café-au-lait spots
light brown or black irregular areas of skin pigmentation with smooth margins. If 6 or more are 1.5 cm or more in diameter, neurofibromatosis is suggested.
cervical spine
That portion of the vertebral column contained in the neck, consisting of seven cervical vertebrae between the skull and the rib cage.
compensatory curve
In spinal deformity, a secondary curve located above or below the structural curvature, which develops in order to maintain normal body alignment.

D

decompensation
As it refers to scoliosis, this is the loss of spinal balance when the thoracic cage is not centered over the pelvis.
discectomy
Removal of all or part of an intervertebral disc (the soft tissue that acts as a shock absorber between the vertebral bodies).
double curve
Two lateral curvatures (scoliosis) in the same spine. Double major curve describes a scoliosis in which there are two structural curves which are usually of equal size.
double thoracic curve
Describes a scoliosis with a structural upper thoracic curve, as well as a larger, more deforming lower thoracic curve, and a relatively nonstructural lumbar curve.

E

F

G

gibbus
a localized kyphosis.

H

hemivertebra
A congenital anomaly of the spine caused by incomplete development of one side of a vertebra resulting in a wedge shape.
hyperkyphosis
a kyphosis greater than the normal range.
hypokyphosis
a kyphosis of the thoracic spine less than the normal range.
hyperlordosis
a lordosis greater than the normal range.
hypolordosis
a lordosis of the cervical or lumbar spine less than the normal range.
hysterical scoliosis
a deformity of the spine that develops as a manifestation of a conversion reaction.

I

idiopathic scoliosis
A structural spinal curvature for which cause has not been established.
inclinometer
An instrument used to measure the angle of thoracic prominence, referred to as angle of trunk rotation (ATR) (see also: scoliometer).
infantile scoliosis
A curvature of the spine that develops before three years of age.

J

juvenile scoliosis
Scoliosis developing between the ages of three and ten years.

K

kyphoscoliosis
A structural scoliosis associated with increased roundback.
kyphosis
A posterior convex angulation of the spine as evaluated on a side view of the spine. Contrast to lordosis.

L

lordosis
An anterior angulation of the spine in the sagittal plane. Contrast to kyphosis.
lordoscoliosis
A lateral curvature of the spine associated with increased swayback.
lumbar curve
A spinal curvature whose apex is between the first and fourth lumbar vertebrae (also known as lumbar scoliosis).
lumbosacral
Pertaining to the lumbar and sacral regions of the back.
lumbosacral curve
A lateral curvature with its apex at the fifth lumbar vertebra or below (also known as lumbosacral scoliosis).

M

major curve
the curve with the largest Cobb measurement on upright long cassette coronal x-ray of the spine.
minor curve
any curve that does not have the largest Cobb measurement on upright long cassette coronal x-ray of the spine.

N

neuromuscular scoliosis
A form of scoliosis caused by a neurologic disorder of the central nervous system or muscle.
nonstructural curve
Description of a spinal curvature or scoliosis that does not have fixed residual deformity.

O

P

pedicle
Bony process projecting backward from the body of a vertebra, which connects with the lamina on either side.
pelvic inclination
deviation of the pelvic outlet from the vertical in the sagittal plane. Measured as an angle between the line from the top of the sacrum to the top of the pubis, and a horizontal line perpendicular to the lateral edge of the standing radiograph
pelvic obliquity
angulation of the pelvis from the horizontal in the frontal plane, possibly secondary to a contraction below the pelvis, e.g. of the hip joint. If this angulation is due to a leg length inequality, then the leg lengths should be equalized to create a level pelvis for measurement purposes.
pelvic axial rotation
rotation of the pelvis in the transverse plane around the vertical axis of the body.
posterior fusion
A technique of stabilizing two or more vertebra by bone grafting with entry from back.
primary curve
The first or earliest curve to appear.

Q

R

risser sign
Used to indicate spinal maturity, this refers to the appearance of a crescentic line of bone formation which appears across the top of each side of the pelvis.

S

sacrum
Curved triangular bone at the base of the spine, consisting of five fused vertebrae known as sacral vertebrae. The sacrum articulates with the last lumbar vertebra and laterally with the pelvic bones.
sacral inclination
the angle between the line along the posterior border of S1 and the vertical lateral edge of a lateral standing radiograph (or between perpendiculars to these lines).
sacral obliquity
an angular deviation of the sacrum from the line drawn parallel to a line across the femoral heads on a supine AP view of the sacrum.
sagittal spinal balance
alignment of the midpoint of the C7 body to the posterior superior corner of the sacrum on an upright long cassette lateral radiograph of the spine
scoliometer
A proprietary name for an inclinometer used in measuring trunk rotation.
scoliosis
Lateral deviation of the normal vertical line of the spine which, when measured by X-ray, is greater than ten degrees. Scoliosis consists of a lateral curvature of the spine with rotation of the vertebrae within the curve.
skeletal age
the age obtained by comparing PA x-ray of the left wrist and hand with the standards of the Gruelich and Pyle atlas.
spinal instrumentation
Metal implants fixed to the spine to improve spinal deformity while the fusion matures. This includes a wide variety of rods, hooks, wires and screws used in various combinations.
spondylitis
An inflammatory disease of the spine.
spondylolisthesis
An anterior displacement of a vertebra on the adjacent lower vertebra.
stable vertebra
the thoracic or lumbar vertebra cephalad to a lumbar scoliosis that is most closely bisected by a vertically directed central sacral line assuming the pelvis is level..
structural curve
A segment of the spine that has fixed lateral curvature.

T

thoracic curvature
Any spinal curvature in which the apex of the curve is between the second and eleventh thoracic vertebrae.
thoracolumbar curve
Any curvature that has its apex at the twelfth thoracic or first lumbar vertebra.
thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TSLO)
A type of brace incorporating the thoracic and lumbar spine.

U

V

vertebral column
The flexible supporting column of vertebrae separated by discs and bound together by ligaments.

W

X

Y

Z

Myths

Contacts