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Glossary - J to L

 

jugular vein: A  large vein in the neck, draining the brain and face towards the heart.

 

kyphoplasty: Procedure to correct the alignment of vertebra in a patient whose spine is angled forward.

 

kyphosis: Forward angulation of the spine.

 

lamina: The posterior portion of a vertebra, behind the spinal canal.

 

laminectomy: Removal of all or part of the posterior part of the vertebra.

 

laminoplasty: Reshaping of the posterior part of the vertebra.

 

laryngeal mask: A type of general anesthesia in which the tube does not pass through the vocal cords; this reduces the risk of vocal cord injury and it is useful for some shorter operations.

 

larynx: The voice box.

 

laser discoplasty: Reduction of the size of a disc by placement of a laser into the disc and evaporation of disc tissue.

 

lateral: To the side.

 

lateral mass screws: Instrumentation for the cervical spine, that is directed through the lateral posterior part of the vertebra.

 

lateral recess stenosis: Narrowing of the lateral corner of the spinal canal, typically in the lumbar spine causing nerve root entrapment inside the spinal canal.

 

lateral X-ray: An X-ray taken from the side, showing the vertebrae in profile.

 

ligamentum flavum: A yellow elastic ligament between the lamina of the vertebrae.

 

light emitting diode (LED): An electronic component that emits light when current is passed through it..

 

lipomyelomeningocele:  A fatty collection at the base of the spinal canal, associated with a congenital abnormality.

 

listhesis: Slippage.

 

load bearing: A construction of screws and rods used to fixate vertebrae for a spinal fusion in which the components are capable of supporting much of the weight of the body.

 

load sharing: A construction of screws and rods used to fixate vertebrae for a spinal fusion in which the components are flexible enough to allow part of the weight of the body to be supported by the vertebral fusion implant.

 

local anesthetic: A medication of that stops all sensation at the site where it is injected.

 

long tracts: The axon fibers of nerve cells running from the cerebral cortex to the parts of the spinal cord.

 

lumbar: The low back between the thoracic region and the sacral region.

 

lumbar drain: A catheter placed into the dural sac in the lumbar region to divert or drain cerebrospinal fluid.

 

lumbar puncture: Passing a needle into the dural sac in the lumbar region to drain or remove fluid or to introduce dye for a myelogram.

 

lumbosacral plexus: The collection of nerve elements in the pelvis situated between the lumbar and sacral spine that feed into it and the sciatic, femoral and other leg nerves that lead away from it. 

 

lysis: Separation or destruction, depending on its use in the medical term.