Nurse Practitioner (NP)

An allied health care professional who provides medical care and treatment under the guidance of the attending physician.

Nucleus Pulposus

The inner portion of the disc made of cartilage that looks and feels like crab meat. It is surrounded by the annulus fibrosus.

Nerve Compression

A pathologic condition that causes pressure on nerves with possible nerve damage resulting in pain, numbness, and/or weakness. Most common causes of nerve compression include disc herniations, facet cyts, and bone spurs (osteophytes).


A set of impulse-carrying fibers that connect the brain and the spinal cord to other parts of the body. Nerves transmit impulses to and from the brain to organs and extremities.


Nothing by mouth. No food or liquids. Patients are often made NPO at midnight the night before their surgery.