What does contralateral mean in reference to spine surgery?

The opposite side. Usually when the symptoms are on the opposite side of a disc herniation.
The opposite side. Ipsilateral means the same side, and contralateral means the opposite side. So if your symptom is in your right leg, the left leg is contralateral. Your right foot is ipsilateral.
The opposite side. Literally meaning the opposite side.
Opposite side. Ipsilateral means same side. So a right sided disc herniation that causes pain would be expected to cause pain in the ipsilateral, right, leg. Contraleteral means opposite side. So, if someone had a right sided herniation but had left leg pain, you would say they had pain in the contralateral leg. Thank you for the question.