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 hemisphere.
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 is present.
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 the mind.
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 neck.
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 bone graft.
POSTERIOR SPINAL MUSCLE SEGMENTS – Upper and lower posterior serratus m., spinalis m., semispinalis m., and rotators.
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 position.
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.