From the Greek [spondylos] meaning "vertebra", its combining form is [spondylo-]. Use of this term include:
- Spondylitis: Inflammation of a vertebra.
- Spondylosis: The suffix [-osis] means "condition", but with the connotation of "many". The term means "many vertebrae", but it refers to excessive abnormal growth of portions of the vertebral body, usually forming "bone spurs", also referred to as "spondylophytes"
- Spondylolysis: From the Greek [lysis], meaning "loosening", the term is used to mean "destruction" or "breaking of". Spondylolysis refers to the breakage, destruction, or loosening of part of a vertebra.
- Spondylolisthesis: From the Greek term [olisthos] meaning "slippery". A "slippery vertebra", referring to the forward displacement of a vertebra over another one.
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