Pulse Oximeter

A device used to measure a patient’s blood oxygen level while he/she are in the hospital.


An incomplete fusion with lack of bone growth consolidation. X-rays may show motion and poor bone graft consolidation where a fusion was attempted. Broken hardware such as screws may also be seen. Patients may experience pain from this condition. This is also commonly called a nonunion or false joint. Some pateints have no symptoms from this condition.

Protrusion (of Disc)

A specific type of herniated disc in which a large amount of disc material breaks through the outer rings of the annulus into the spinal canal, usually causing extreme pressure on nerve(s). In this type of herniation, the base of the herniation is larger than the tip. However, the herniated fragment is still in contact with the intact portion of the nucleus pulposus.


The rear or back part of a structure.

PLIF (Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

A surgical procedure in which graft material is inserted into the disc space from the back of the lumbar spine (posterior). This is done in order to fuse two vertebrae together.

Physician Assistant (PA)

An allied health care professional who helps care for patients in clinic and assists in surgery. 

Physical Therapy

A specialty that treats impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.

Physical Therapist (PT)

An allied health care professional licensed to assist in the examination, testing, and treatment of patients with orthopedic and spinal conditions. He or she can evaluate the patient’s spine, teach body mechanics and exercise, and make recommendations to the physician regarding future treatment needs.


Of, or pertaining to, the outside, surface or surrounding area of an organ or other structure. 


A portion of bone in a vertebra that connects the body of the vertebra to the facet joints, transverse processes, laminae, and spinous process. The pedicle makes up a portion of the spinal canal. When placing screws in the spine for a fusion, screws are often placed thru the pedicle for strong fixation.