SPINAL TAP
SPLEEN
Disc prolapse
may lead to pressure on
a spinal nerve, causing pain. Injury to a
nerve may lead to loss of sensation or
movement in the area supplied by the
nerve. (See also
nerve injury; neuropathy.
)
spinal tap See
lumbar puncture.
spine The column of bones and carti-
lage that extends from the base of the
skull to the pelvis, enclosing the
spinal
cord
and supporting the trunk and head.
The spine is made up of 33 roughly
cylindrical
vertebrae.
Each pair of adja-
cent vertebrae is connected by a facet
joint
, which stabilizes the vertebral col-
umn. Between each pair of vertebrae lies
a disc-shaped pad of cartilage called an
intervertebral disc (see
disc, interverte-
bral).
These discs cushion the vertebrae
during movement. The vertebrae are
bound together by
2
ligaments
running
the length of the spine and by smaller
ligaments
between
each
vertebra.
Attached
to
the
vertebrae are sev-
eral
groups
of
muscles,
which
control movement
of,
and
help
to
support, the spine,
spine, disorders
of Many disorders
of the spine cause
back pain.
Spina
bifida
is a congen-
ital
disorder
in
which part of the
spinal cord is ex-
posed. Sometimes,
the spine is abnor-
mally curved (see
lordosis
,
Itysphosis,
scoliosis).
In
antylo-
sing spondylitis,
and
in some cases of
rheumatoid
arth-
ritis,
spinal joints
are affected;
osteo-
arthritis
affects the
spinal
joints
of
most people over
60. Other disorders
affecting the spine
are
spinal injuries;
disc prolapse
,
and
spon dyl olisth esis
.
spirochaete A spiral-shaped bacterium.
Spirochaetes cause
syphilis
,
leptospirosis
,
relapsing fever
, and
Lyme disease
.
spirometry A
pulmonary function test
used to diagnose or assess a
lung
disor-
der or to monitor treatment. It records the
rate at which a person exhales air from
the lungs and the total volume exhaled.
SPIROMETRY
Monitor
Nose clip
Spirometer
spironolactone A
potassium-sparing
diuretic drug,
which is given to treat
heart failure. Spironolactone may cause
numbness, weakness, and nausea. Less
common side effects include diarrhoea,
lethargy, impotence, rash, and irregular
menstruation. High doses may cause
abnormal breast enlargement in men.
spleen An organ that removes worn-out
and defective red blood cells from the
circulation and helps to fight infection by
producing some of the
antibodies, lym-
phocytes
, and
phagocytes
that destroy
invading microorganisms. The spleen is
a fist-sized, spongy organ in the upper
left abdomen behind the lower ribs.
The spleen enlarges in many diseases.
These include infections such as
malaria
and
infectious mononucleosis
; blood dis-
orders such as
leukaemia
,
thalassaemia
,
and
sickle cell anaemia
; and tumours
such as
lymphomas
. Enlargement of the
spleen may be accompanied by
hyper-
splenism
. The spleen may be ruptured by
a severe blow to the abdomen. This can
S
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