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Glossary - F

 

facet block:  An injection used to numb a spinal joint or facet.

 

facet joints:  The joints on the posterior part of the spine between the lamina.

 

facetectomy:  A surgery to remove all or part of a facet joint.

 

false positive:  A result of a medical test that incorrectly shows a positive finding.

 

fascia:  A dense fibrous layer within the body.

 

fascial sutures:  Sutures used to close and repair the fascia, typically of the spine after a surgery.

 

fascicle:  An individual internal element of a nerve.

 

Femoral nerve:  Large nerve that innervates the quadriceps muscles on the anterior surface of the thigh.

 

femur:  The main upper leg bone from the hip to the knee.

 

fibrocytes:  Cells that produce fibrous material or scar.

 

fibrosis:  Scarring or the development of excess fibrous tissue in the body.

 

fibula:  A bone on the outer or lateral aspect of the lower leg between the knee and the ankle, that is much smaller than the main weight-bearing bone, the tibia.

 

filum terminale:  A small fibrous thread extending from the low end of the spinal cord at the L1 level often as far as the sacrum.

 

fixation:  Holding structures in place.

 

flexion:  Bending forward.

 

flexion/extension X-ray:  Two X-rays taken of the spine, typically one with the body or neck flexed forward and one with the body or neck extended backwards.

 

fluoroscopy:  X-ray imaging in involving a fluorescent screen, typically observed in real-time by a video camera, for motion X-rays.

 

foot drop: Inability to lift or elevate the foot by dorsiflexion at the ankle. This can be caused by problems affecting the peroneal nerve, the sciatic nerve or the lumbosacral spinal nerves.

 

foramen:  Tube, opening or canal.

 

foramen magnum:  The opening in the base of the skull.

 

foramen magnum syndrome:  A headache syndrome involved with a malformation at the base of the brain and skull, with the cerebellar tonsils, or the low end of the cerebellum, passing through the foramen magnum and compressing the spinal cord and blocking spinal fluid flow.

 

foraminotomy:  Surgery to open or expand the spinal foramen to increase the space for a nerve root to pass from the spinal canal out to the body.

 

fusion:  Causing two bones to grow together into one.