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Workers' compensation -- Treatment parameters



DictionaryGlossary

Acromioplasty -- Acromioplasty is the surgical removal of the anterior hook of the acromion to relieve mechanical compression of the rotator cuff during movement of the glenohumeral joint.

Acromioclavicular -- Acromioclavicular means pertaining to the acromion and clavicle.

Ankylosing spondylitis -- Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis of the spine. It causes swelling between the vertebrae, which are the disks that make up the spine, and in the joints between the spine and pelvis. Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease; the immune system, which usually protects the body from infection, attacks the body's own tissues. The disease is more common and more severe in men. It often runs in families.

Arthrography -- Arthrography is often used to help diagnose the cause of unexplained joint pain. A contrast iodine solution is injected into the joint area to help highlight the joint structures, such as the ligaments, cartilage, tendons and joint capsule. Several X-rays of the joint are taken using a fluoroscope, a special piece of X-ray equipment that immediately shows the image.

Avascular necrosis -- Avascular necrosis is a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of the blood supply to the bones. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and causes the bone to collapse. If the process involves the bones near a joint, it often leads to collapse of the joint surface. This disease also is known as osteonecrosis, aseptic necrosis and ischemic bone necrosis.

Botulinum toxin injections -- Botulinum is a bacterium (clostridium botulinum) that produces seven different toxins that can cause botulism and is also medically used to block muscle contractions.

Cauda equina -- The spinal cord ends in the lumbar area and continues through the vertebral canal as spinal nerves. Because of its resemblance to a horse tail, the collection of these nerves at the end of the spinal cord is called the cauda equina. These nerves send and receive messages to and from the lower limbs and pelvic organs.

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) occurs when the nerve roots of the cauda equina are compressed and disrupt motor and sensory function to the lower extremities and bladder. Patients with this syndrome are often admitted to the hospital as a medical emergency. CES can lead to incontinence and even permanent paralysis.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan -- In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a three-dimensional (3D) image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

Costoclavicular -- Costoclavicular means relating to the ribs and the clavicle.

DeQuervain's syndrome -- This syndrome is an inflammatory condition affecting the tendon sheaths (tenosynovitis) that pass over the wrist joint.

Discectomy -- Disectomy, also called discotomy, is the partial or complete excision of an intervertebral disk.

Discography -- Discography involves the injection of a special contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The dye outlines the damaged areas on X-rays taken following the injection. This procedure is often suggested for patients who are considering lumbar surgery or whose pain has not responded to conventional treatments.

Dyshidrosis -- Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pomphloyx, is a skin condition in which small, fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) occur on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet or both.

Electromyography -- Electromyography is a test that measures muscle response to nervous stimulation. A needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the muscle. Each muscle fiber that contracts will produce an action potential. The presence, size and shape of the wave form of the action potential produced on the oscilloscope, provides information about the ability of the muscle to respond to nervous stimulation.

Epicondylitis -- Epicondylitis is an inflammation, soreness or pain on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow. There may be a partial tear of the tendon fibers, which connect muscle to bone, at or near their point of origin on the outside of the elbow.

Foot drop -- Foot drop, sometimes called "drop foot," is a general term to describe difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. If the patient has foot drop, he or she may drag the front of the foot on the ground when walking. Foot drop isn't a disease; rather, it is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem. Sometimes foot drop is temporary. In other cases, foot drop is permanent. With foot drop, the patient may need to wear a brace on the ankle and foot to hold the foot in a normal position.

Foraminotomy -- Foraminotomy is the removal of the roof of the intervertebral foramen.

Guyon's canal syndrome -- Guyon's canal syndrome is numbness and tingling in the ring and small fingers caused by irritation of the ulnar nerve in the Guyon's canal. On the palm, the ulnar nerve passes under a ligament between two small wrist bones, the pisiform and hamate. The tunnel formed by the bones and ligaments is called Guyon's canal. The ulnar nerve supplies sensation to the little finger and half of the ring finger. It is critical that the area of compression be localized to either the wrist (Guyon's canal), the elbow (cubital tunnel) or the neck (thoracic outlet syndrome, cervical radiculopathy) by physical examination and electrical studies prior to embarking on a treatment. All three may cause numbness and tingling in the same ring and small fingers.

Immunologic -- Immunologic is a science that deals with the immune system and the cell-mediated and humoral aspects of immunity and immune responses.

Iontophoresis -- This is the application, by means of an appropriate electrode, of a galvanic current to an ionizable agent in contact with a surface to hasten the movement into the tissue of the ion of opposite charge to that of the electrode.

Laminectomy -- Laminectomy is the surgical removal of part of the posterior arch of a vertebra to provide access to the spinal canal, as for the excision of a ruptured disk.

Laminotomy -- Laminotomy is the surgical division of one or more vertebral laminae.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- MRI allows imaging of the interior of the body without using X-rays or other types of ionizing radiation. An MRI scan is capable of showing fine detail of different tissues.

Myelography -- In myelography, X-rays of the spinal cord are taken after a radiopaque dye is injected into the cerebrospinal fluid via a spinal tap. Myelography has been largely replaced by MRI, which produces more detailed images, is simpler and is safer. Myelography with computed tomography (CT) is used when additional detail of the spinal canal and surrounding bone, which MRI cannot provide, is needed. Myelography with CT is also used when MRI is not available or cannot be done safely (for example, when a person has a heart pacemaker).

Myofascial pain syndrome -- Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic local or regional musculoskeletal pain disorder that may involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. The pain may be of a burning, stabbing, aching or nagging quality.

Neurologic deficit -- A neurologic deficit is a decrease in the function of the brain, spinal cord, muscles or nerves. Examples include the inability to speak, decreased sensation, loss of balance, weakness, mental function problems, visual changes, abnormal reflexes and walking problems.

Phonophoresis -- Phonophoresis is ultrasonic energy used to facilitate absorption of drugs across the epidermal barrier.

Plethysmography -- A plethysmography test is performed by placing blood pressure cuffs on the extremities to measure the systolic pressure. The cuffs are then attached to a pulse volume recorder (plethysmograph) that displays each pulse wave. The test compares the systolic blood pressure of the lower extremity to the upper extremity, to help rule out disease that blocks the arteries in the extremities.

Prolotherapy -- Prolotherapy, also called sclerotherapy, involves injecting painful ligaments and tendons with sugar solutions that are intended to stimulate production of connective tissue. The theory is that prolotherapy can strengthen these ligaments and tendons, and reduce pain. Studies of prolotherapy have reported conflicting evidence regarding its effectiveness in treating chronic back pain.

Pseudoarthrosis -- Pseudoarthrosis is a pathological entity characterized by a nonosseous union of bone fragments of a fractured bone due to inadequate immobilization leading to existence of the "false joint" that gives the condition its name.

Sciatica -- Sciatica is a symptom of a problem with the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. It controls muscles in the back of the knee and lower leg and provides feeling to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg and the sole of the foot. When a patient has sciatica, the patient has pain, weakness, numbness or tingling. It can start in the lower back and extend down the leg to the calf, foot or even the toes. It's usually on only one side of the body.

Sciatica may be due to a ruptured intervertebral disk, narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerve called spinal stenosis or an injury such as a pelvic fracture. In many cases, no cause can be found.

Sometimes sciatica goes away on its own. Treatment, if needed, depends on the cause of the problem. It may include exercise, medicines and surgery.

Spinal fusion -- Spinal fusion is surgery to correct problems in the spine bones (vertebrae). The surgery stabilizes the back by fusing certain bones in the spine together. Fusing means two bones are permanently placed together (fused) so that movement between them can no longer occur.

Spondylolisthesis -- This is the forward displacement of a lumbar vertebra on the one below it and especially of the fifth lumbar vertebra on the sacrum producing pain by compression of nerve roots.

Spondylolysis -- This is a disintegration or dissolution of a vertebra.

Sudek's atrophy -- Sudek's atrophy is acute atrophy of a bone, usually one of the carpal or tarsal bones, following a slight injury, such as a sprain.

Visceral -- Visceral, refers to viscera, the internal organs of the body, specifically those within the chest (such as the heart or lungs) or abdomen (such as the liver, pancreas or intestines).

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