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Neurosurgery

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 transplantion.

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.

Microdisectomy

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 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 brain or 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 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.