Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tackling The Veterinary Terminology: Prefixes (spondylo-)

Remember the Spelling Bee? Big words are easier to tackle when you understand how they're put together. Veterinary terms are composed in the same way. Just like with other words, the main parts of a veterinary term are a prefix, a root, and a suffix. The difference is that they typically come more directly from Greek or Latin.

A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify its meaning by providing additional information. It usually indicates number, location, time, or status.
spondylo- [spän′də lə] - from Greek - vertebra(e)

Since I mentioned cervical spondylomyelopathy (Wobbler syndrome) last time, why don't we examine what the prefix spondylo- stands for.

When you find the spondylo- prefix at the beginning of your veterinary term, it means that the problem involves vertebra(e).

(Vertebra being the bones or segments forming the spinal column)

Cervical spondylomyelopathy, then, means that it's a disease which involves both the vertebrae and spinal cord of the neck. In this case, malformation of the vertebrae, or disc protrusion(s), push on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, causing neck pain and/or neurological signs. The typical symptom being the characteristic wobbly gait, thus Wobbler syndrome.

Spondylopathy is any disease affecting the vertebra(e). We discussed this under suffixes.

Other term which you might encounter is spondylitis, inflammation of the vertebrae. This one is usually caused by infection, typically bacterial. For example, diskospondylitis, inflammation of the intervertebral disk and adjacent vertebrae.

Spondylosis, on the other hand, is a degenerative condition, caused by aging or injury. Resulting abnormal bony growths/bone spurs, the result of the body trying to fix itself, can actually lead to fusion of the adjacent vertebrae.

Spondylosis. Image Puppyer

To best remember the difference between spondylitis and spondylosis, one is inflammation, usually due to infection, and the other is presence of abnormal bony growths.

Note the difference: arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It could be caused by infection but usually is of degenerative/wear and tear origin. Spondylitis is inflammation of the vertebra(e), just about always caused by an infection

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Related articles:
Veterinary Suffixes (-itis)
Veterinary Suffixes (-oma) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-pathy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-osis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-iasis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-tomy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-ectomy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-scopy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-emia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-penia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-rrhea) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-cyte) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-blast) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-opsy)
Veterinary Suffixes (-ac/-al)

Veterinary Prefixes (hyper-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (hypo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (pyo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myelo-)

1 comment

  1. I've always liked this word for some reason :)

    ReplyDelete

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