A halo is a non-invasive device that is placed around the neck to stabilize cervical and upper thoracic injuries. The halo device is a graphite or metal ring that is attached to a vest with four upright bars – two located on the anterior side and the other two on the posterior side. The ring goes around the neck but is pinned on the frontal and parietal-occipital regions of the skull. The halo is known for the most cervical restriction compared to similar devices.
Harrington rod is a device that is inserted into the body and attached to the spine to stabilize it. Unlike modern rods which have multiple fixation points, the Harrington rod can only be fixated at two points. Therefore, the Harrington rod is not the preferred method of deformity correction these days.
A herniated disk is a torn intervertebral disc. Herniation happens when the outer part of the disc is fragmented or broken which causes an extrusion of the fibers on the inner core of the disk. A herniated disk can lead to back pain because the part of the disc that comes out can put pressure on the nerves. Treatment for back pain related to herniated disc can range anywhere from conservative non-invasive treatments, such as physical therapy and analgesics, to surgery such as discectomy and microdiscectomy for nerve decompression.
Hydroxyapatite is naturally found in bone as a calcium phosphate mineral. The mineral content of the bone consists mainly of hydroxyapatite with other smaller quantities of carbonate, magnesium, and acid phosphate. The hydroxyapatite is what strengthens the bone due to its intricate lattice-like structure. Hydroxyapatite is an excellent material used in manufacturing synthetic bone grafts.
Hyperkyphosis is the excessive anterior curvature of the thoracic spine (exaggerated kyphosis). It can be identified as a “hump” in the middle of the back. Kyphosis occurs when the curvature exceeds the normal twenty to forty degrees range. It can be classified into two types – primary and secondary kyphosis. Primary kyphosis includes Scheuermann’s kyphosis which occurs when the bones of the vertebrae do not grow correctly, and congenital kyphosis which occurs when babies are born with wedge-shaped spine bones instead of normal round ones. Secondary kyphosis is a consequence of diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases that cause pathology in the spine.
Hyperlordosis is the excessive posterior curvature of the thoracic spine. The normal range for lumbar lordotic angle is 20-45 degrees. Lumbar lordosis is also more pronounced in females than in males. Hyperlordosis is not as much of a problem as hyperkyphosis. In fact, loss of lordosis (“flatback”) is considered to be a problem since it leads to back pain.
Hypertrophic Facet Disease
Hypertrophic Facet Disease results from the excessive enlargement (hypertrophy) of the facet joints. Some of the causes of hypertrophic facet disease are osteoarthritis and diseases that cause overloading such as degenerative disc disease. Due to such diseases, the facet joint can enlarge to compensate for degeneration of the spinal column. Facet joint enlargement tends to put pressure on surrounding structures and sometimes even on the spinal nerves. Treatment includes epidural steroid injections, analgesics, and physical therapy.