Spinal Glossary: B

  • BMP: A growth factor that triggers the formation of new bone or cartilage. Sometimes BMP is used in lieu of a bone graft in spinal fusion surgeries.
  • bone graft: When missing or damaged portions of bone are replaced with bone from a natural, synthetic, or artificial source. A bone graft is used in a spinal fusion procedure to stimulate osteogenesis (new bone growth) so that fusion can occur.
  • bone growth stimulator: An electrical device used to induce the growth of new bone after a spinal fusion surgery. A stimulator can be implanted at the surgical site or worn externally.
  • Bone Spurs: Bone spurs are small and rounded or knobby growths of bone that accumulate in or around joints or where connective tissues (such as ligaments or tendons) and bones meet.
  • Bulging Disc: Occurs when an intervertebral disc - a tough yet spongy oval-shaped structure that is located between two vertebrae - weakens and loses its natural shape, causing it to protrude outside its normal boundary.
  • back surgery: Treatment for back conditions that entails one or more incisions so that a surgeon can access the spine, typically with the goal of diagnosing, removing, and/or repairing injured vertebrae, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments, etc.
  • bones of the spine: Also called vertebrae (or singular, vertebra). The bones of the spine are stacked to create a column-like structure that protects the spinal cord and allows our body to perform a variety of movements.