- D -
A surgical operation for facial pain, the glossopharyngeal nerve is cut within
Also known as Pott disease, this is from damage to a vertebral bone from
surgical removal of foreign material or dead, damaged, or infected tissue from a
wound or burn.
Decompression Sickness Also
known as caisson disease, this involves the development of small bubbles in the
arteries and veins. It is seen in SCUBA divers who ascend too rapidly after a deep or
long dive. It was first reported in bridge workers who used pressurized
caissons, or boxes, to build the bridge supports.
often required to pay a certain amount of money each year for medical services
before the insurance policy will pay for any treatments. This amount is called
the deductible. For example, a patient may have to pay the first $500 of costs.
A structure that is below another, or closer to the center of the body, is said
to be deeper.
An insurance company or an employer defending itself against a claim brought
by a plaintiff or an applicant.
Delayed Union When a spinal fusion is performed
during a surgical procedure, the goal is to establish a solid bone union. A
delayed union refers to slower than expected healing between levels of the
spine. If the spinal levels that have been fused never heal into solid bone, the
result is called a pseudarthrosis or non-union.
Any of a number of genetic problems, or birth defects, where a portion of the
DNA is lost. The syndromes are titled with the number of the damaged chromosome
and the letter p or q, to indicate the loss of the long end of the chromosome or
the short end respectively.
Dens This bone is part of the second spinal vertebra
(C2), the axis. It is a small bone peg that protrudes upward from C2.
De Quervain Disease
Inflammation of the tendon sheath (between the tendons of the abductor pollicis
longus and the extensor pollicis brevis) behind the thumb causes pain with
certain movements. This is a very painful problem caused by overuse but is
easily treated with injections, anti-inflammatory medications or surgery.
Derifield leg check
Test to detect pelvic
dysfunction by measuring leg length in a prone (face-down) position.
Measurements are obtained with the legs straight and with the knees bent. Leg
checks are used by chiropractic activator practitioners and others who correct
DEU 100 form
- One of two forms needed with every QME report
(click here for the form).
DEU 101 form -
The other of the two forms needed with every QME report
(click here for the form).
Evaluation Unit (DEU) -
a California state office which calculates disability ratings based upon medical
Commonly abbreviated as Dx, this is the process of identifying a disease by
its signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings.
is an uncommon disease where there is an abnormality of a hormone called
anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Too much urine is produced and the blood sodium
can become dangerously high. It is associated with head injuries and other
A common disease where there is too much sugar in the blood. This can be
treated with diet, pills or insulin shots. Untreated it causes permanent damage
to the blood vessels and nerves. Untreated it causes heart attacks and strokes.
Vascular and neurologic problems caused by diabetes frequently damage the foot
and occasionally result in the death of the foot. Amputation of the foot in a
diabetic is not uncommon.
To relax or expand a structure.
Habitual crossing of the legs can cause a dimple or dent in the area around the
knee. This is associated with damage to the peroneal nerve and weakness of the
Directional non-force technique (DNFT)
Method of diagnosing and correcting subluxations by applying thumb pressure to
the spine and checking leg length, which supposedly changes when correction is
This is an
insurance policy that pays a person when they are unable to work and which
replaces some of the lost income.
Rating - a numeric
percentage (from 1% to 100%) that reflects an injured worker's loss of ability
to compete in the labor market; the percent of jobs he/she can no longer do;
applies only to the California state system.
This refers to any flat, round
Intervertebral discs are soft tissue structures that are between the vertebral
bones of the spine. They act as cushions but are easily damaged.
This is the loss of the structural and functional integrity of the disc. It
is a wear and tear process. Discs tend to degenerate more with each passing
This is any problem which affects the intervertebral disc. It may be due to an
injury or to wear and tear (arthritis).
Disc Herniation, Prolapse or Slip
These are a group
of terms that mean that a disc has become damaged and is moved out of its normal
position. It may, when damaged, pinch a nerve. The disc damage can cause back
pain and the nerve damage can cause arm or leg pain.
The surgical removal of part or all of an intervertebral disc.
- any disagreement between the insurance company and the injured worker in a
workers' compensation case.
Coagulation Syndrome (DIC)
In serious diseases and following severe injuries, the blood can clot
excessively or not enough. This is an ominous sign and is often fatal.
This describes the position of one body part compared to another, the more
distal part is farther away from the center of the body.
Excessive space between structures such as vertebral bones. It is usually due
to interposed tissue or stretching forces.
Report of Injury - a
form completed by a doctor after your first visit; describes the cause of
injury, treatment advice, etc.
(click here for the form).
Dolls Eye Sign (Cantelli Sign)
Normally the eyes move with the head. This sign is present when the eyes move
in an opposite direction to the head. In an unconscious patient, turning the
head to the left, for example, will cause the eyes to go to the right.
Dolls Head Phenomenon
An abnormal muscle sign where the eyes go down as the head is tilted backward.
Refers to the back surface of the body. This is the opposite of ventral.
Dorsiflexion - To bend the
foot upward at the ankle, toward the
dorsum (or top) of the foot.
A birth defect which is also called mongolism or trisomy-21, this causes
multiple problems including developmental delay.
This is an uncommon condition caused by degeneration of portions of the spinal
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Also called infantile muscular atrophy, this birth defect causes severe
weakness, delayed walking and other problems. It occurs only in boys.
Depression of the epigastric region
on inspiration which occurs in patients with a paralyzed diaphragm.
Duchenne Syndrome (Duchenne-Erb
Syndrome) This is a
damage to the upper roots of the brachial plexus and usually results from an
Any of a large number of birth defects where there is an extra piece of
chromosomal DNA, these are identified by the number of the chromosome and the
letter p or q, depending on whether the short or long part of the chromosome is
This is one type of amputation.
A crunching sound when moving a damaged joint.
Dura Layers of tissue
covering the brain, the spinal cord, and nerve roots. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
is contained within the dura. The dura can be injured in number of ways (this
can cause what is called a CSF leak) and is rarely involved in diseases.
Durable Power of Attorney A legal document
denoting a friend or family member as your legal guardian in case you are unable
to make medical decisions for yourself.
Refers to any disturbance of
balance or equilibrium.
A disruption in the smooth flow or
expression of speech.
- a form completed by a patient to report an injury to an employer
(click here for the form).
Hemiatrophy of one side of the head and brain causing an asymmetry and unusual
Chiropractic adjustment delivered suddenly and forcefully to move vertebrae,
often resulting in a popping sound.
A distortion or absence of the sense
An involuntary movement including
athetosis and chorea.
Distortion or absence of the sense of
If you are aware of any useful spine and neuromusculoskeletal terms which are
not included in this list, or if you have suggestions for better definitions, your help would be
greatly appreciated. Please send me any upgrades and
I will update the web site appropriately. Click
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