• More from M-W
  • To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In

Definition of excursion

Did you know.

In Latin, the prefix ex- means "out of" and the verb currere means "to run." When the two are put together, they form the verb excurrere , literally "to run out" or "to extend." Excurrere gave rise not only to excursion but also to excurrent (an adjective for things having channels or currents that run outward) and excursus (meaning "an appendix or digression that contains further exposition of some point or topic"). Other words deriving from currere include corridor , curriculum , and among newer words, parkour .

Examples of excursion in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'excursion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Latin excursion-, excursio , from excurrere

circa 1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

Get Word of the Day delivered to your inbox!

Dictionary Entries Near excursion

excursional

Cite this Entry

“Excursion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excursion. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of excursion.

from Latin excursio, excursion- "a going out," from excurrere "to run out, make an excursion, extend," from ex- "out, forth" and currere "to run" — related to current

Medical Definition

Medical definition of excursion, more from merriam-webster on excursion.

Nglish: Translation of excursion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excursion for Arabic Speakers

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Play Quordle: Guess all four words in a limited number of tries.  Each of your guesses must be a real 5-letter word.

Can you solve 4 words at once?

Word of the day.

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Popular in Grammar & Usage

Plural and possessive names: a guide, more commonly misspelled words, your vs. you're: how to use them correctly, every letter is silent, sometimes: a-z list of examples, more commonly mispronounced words, popular in wordplay, 8 words for lesser-known musical instruments, birds say the darndest things, 10 words from taylor swift songs (merriam's version), 10 scrabble words without any vowels, 12 more bird names that sound like insults (and sometimes are), games & quizzes.

Play Blossom: Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

close android install prompt

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

excursion medical dictionary

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.

1. Download the Nursing Central app by Unbound Medicine

2. Select Try/Buy and follow instructions to begin your free 30-day trial

Appstore

Want to regain access to Nursing Central?

Renew my subscription

Not now - I'd like more time to decide

Log in to Nursing Central

Forgot your password, forgot your username, contact support.

  • unboundmedicine.com/support
  • [email protected]
  • 610-627-9090 (Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM EST.)

Purchase Nursing Central

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Int J Health Sci (Qassim)
  • v.17(3); May-Jun 2023
  • PMC10155251

Ultrasound utilization in the diagnosis of diaphragm dysfunction compared to other modalities: A retrospective study

Abdulaziz s. aljibali.

1 Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Qassim, Saudi Arabia

2 Medical Imaging Department, King Abdullah Specialized Children Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Associated Data

The data used in this study are available and will be provided by the corresponding author on a reasonable request.

Objectives:

Diaphragm is dome-shaped fibro-muscular assembly, composed of central tendon surrounded by peripheral muscle fibers. It plays a significant role in respiration and maintenance of lumber spine stability. Any condition that interferes with diaphragmatic innervation, contractile muscle function or mechanical coupling to chest wall can cause diaphragm dysfunction; which is usually manifests as elevation at chest radiography. Functional imaging with M-mode ultrasonography has been used in assessment of diaphragm kinetics in a variety of normal and pathological conditions. In this study, we evaluate the departmental ultrasound accuracy in diaphragm motion assessment and compare its results with other institutional parameters.

We retrospectively reviewed the recorded laboratory investigation and chest radiograph of 163 pediatric patients. A total of 131 patients met clinical inclusion criteria for our study, patients under age of 14 years having clinical suspicion of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Patients having neuromuscular blockers, surgical plication, and phrenic nerve pacing were excluded. The mean age was 1.6 (SD 2.6) years and there were 44.3% of male and 55.7% of female patients.

The data demonstrated that ultrasonography is a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tool compared to X-ray and laboratory investigation and clinical suspicion. The second-best results were obtained by X-ray and less accurate results were obtained by laboratory investigation.

Conclusion:

In proper sonographic technique; diaphragmatic ultrasound appears to be a valid and reliable diagnostic too; for diaphragmatic dysfunction. Diaphragm ultrasound may act as an imaging tool guiding rehabilitation success in diaphragmatic dysfunction cases.

Introduction

Diaphragm is a dome shaped fibro-muscular assembly lies at the bottom of thoracic cavity and composed of an aponeurotic tendinous central ligament surrounded by peripheral muscle fibers. Diaphragm is divided into left and right hemi-diaphragms, each with different vascular and nerve supplies.[ 1 - 5 ] It is innervated by two phrenic nerves originating from cervical nerve roots C3 to C5. It is a physical barrier that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity and functions primarily involuntarily with additional voluntary control when needed. It, therefore, is considered as principal muscle of ventilation. During inspiration, it contracts along with the accessory respiratory muscles resulting in expanding thoracic cavity, decreasing intrathoracic pressure and drawing air into the lungs. With relaxation of diaphragm, predominates elastic recoiling of lungs, causes exhalation. In addition, the diaphragm also assists in emesis, urination, and defecation by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and helps prevent gastroesophageal reflux by exerting external pressure at the esophageal hiatus.[ 6 , 7 ]

In young children, especially in neonates, the accessory respiratory muscles are often inadequate to compensate for a failing diaphragm. This leads to respiratory muscle fatigue with poor lung expansion and variable degree of potential atelectasis and ultimately result in respiratory failure. However, in adults and older children, the accessory respiratory muscles can often compensate for the paretic or paralyzed diaphragm.[ 8 , 9 ] Cardiac surgery done for underlying congenital heart diseases is the most common cause of abnormal diaphragmatic motion with a prevalence ranging from 0.3 to 12.8%.[ 10 ]

Based on symptoms like unexplained dyspnea, limitation to exercise and pain in shoulder, the primary utilized diagnostic tools include physical examination, laboratory investigation, and imaging modalities. Physical examination include diaphragm excursion, which involves percussion along the posterior chest to determine the displacement range of diaphragm during deep inspiration and deep expiration. Normal diaphragmatic excursion is 5–6 cm. Diminished diaphragmatic excursion is often associated with weakness of diaphragm or its paralysis.[ 7 , 11 ] Laboratory investigations of arterial/venous blood gases (BG’s) measure dissolved gases in and other properties of blood (pH, pCO 2 , pO 2 , base excess, O 2 saturation, etc.) and are most often performed on patients in critical care settings. BG’s are an indication of ventilation, gas exchange and acid-base status of blood, where blood is collected either from an arterial or venous blood supply.[ 12 - 16 ]

Chest radiographic X-ray provides an image, which allows physicians to perceive structure and morphology of diaphragm. It clearly demonstrates the elevation of diaphragm. In normal individuals, the left hemi-diaphragm is usually located one intercostal space lower than the right hemi-diaphragm. Slight elevation of right hemi-diaphragm is associated with the presence of liver under it. If a hemi-diaphragm is weak, then the normal negative intra-pleural pressure pulls the diaphragm cranially into the thoracic cavity. Consequently, the paralyzed diaphragm appears at a higher level. If the right side is paralyzed, the distance between the right and left diaphragm will be more than two intercostal spaces, and if the left side is paralyzed, both the hemi-diaphragms will appear on the same level [ Figure 1 ].[ 17 ] In bilateral weakness, both hemi-diaphragms will appear at a higher level and might be missed on routine chest radiographs.[ 5 ]

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g001.jpg

Chest radiograph showing: (a) Normal diaphragm appearance, (b and c) elevation of left and right hemi-diaphragm; respectively, following phrenic nerve paralysis in patients with post-cardiac surgery

Diaphragm ultrasonography is a non-invasive, portable mode of imaging that eliminates the exposure to radiation and risk of transportation. It is widely used particularly in intensive care unit (ICU) where intense patient cooperation is not essential. Two ultrasound methods are characteristically used to assess diaphragmatic functions. First, the analysis of the dome excursion with M-mode approach which is well-tolerated test with a linear relationship between diaphragmatic movement and inspired volume and allows quantitative and qualitative assessment of diaphragmatic movement [ Figure 2 ]. Second is the evaluation of diaphragmatic thickness and thickening during inspiration by analyzing the apposition zone.[ 1 , 18 ]

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g002.jpg

M-mode ultrasound showing initial and follow-up ultrasound in a 4-month-old infant having post-cardiac surgery with left diaphragmatic paralysis. (a) Normal right hemi-diaphragm with inspiratory peak above the baseline. (b) First ultrasound shows a flat line indicative of absent motion of the left hemi-diaphragm. (c) Follow-up ultrasound shows some movement of the left hemi-diaphragm during inspiration. (d) Complete recovery of left diaphragmatic paralysis is seen with return of normal inspiratory peak

The aim of this paper was to retrospectively study and to evaluate the accuracy of departmental ultrasound in assessment of diaphragm motion and to compare its results with other institutional parameter, namely, physical examination, laboratory investigation, and chest radiograph findings. Although, other institution parameters provide sufficient information to diagnose impaired diaphragm motion, ultrasonography is considered relatively sensitive tool. The final objective of this study was to support the diagnostic superiority and reliable of ultrasonography.

Materials and Methods

Study population.

Study population included pediatric patients admitted to King Abdullah Specialized Children Hospital, a tertiary hospital for pediatric patients, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The study was bioethically approved by the local institutional review board of King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (approval # RC19/307/R). In this study, patients were retrospectively selected in two years and half long sampling period from January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019. Pediatric patients under 14 years from both genders having respiratory symptoms (such as dyspnea, intolerance to exercise, sleep disturbances, hypersomnia, and with a potential impact on survival) associated with clinical suspicion of diaphragm dysfunction were considered for study as per institutional criteria (for pediatric age). Data of total 133 cardiac and non-cardiac pediatric patients were selected for the study. Demographic and baseline characteristics of the study population were collected. Pediatric patients having neuromuscular blockers, surgical plication and phrenic nerve pacing were excluded from the study. Neuromuscular blocker drugs block neuromuscular transmission at neuromuscular junction, causing paralysis of the affected muscle exhibiting false positive results. Diaphragmatic plication is traditionally performed by gathering weak and flaccid diaphragm muscle and central tendon into pleats and sutured, lowering and tightening the hemi-diaphragm and increasing intrathoracic volume. In case of phrenic nerve pacing, the nerves are electrically stimulated using implanted electrodes to restore physiological functions of diaphragm. Diaphragmatic plication and phrenic nerve pacing often interfere in diaphragm movement assessment by exhibiting false negative results.[ 19 - 25 ]

As per organization structure, pediatric patients having respiratory symptoms associated with clinical suspicion of diaphragm dysfunction were diagnosed based on review of patient clinical history, physical examination with emphasis on the diaphragm excursion and laboratory investigation by arterial/venous BGs test. On suspicion of either unilateral or bilateral diaphragmatic dysfunction, the patients were subjected to imaging modalities including chest radiograph and diaphragmatic ultrasound. Results of diaphragm dysfunction diagnosis on both right and left hemi-diaphragms are presented.

Statistical analysis

Raw data were processed by following the best practices for raw data management to identify any inaccuracies or incompleteness in advance of the statistical analysis. To accomplish this task, all interval variables were checked and summarized in terms of maximum and minimum values. Minimum and maximum values were checked and compared against the nominal maximum and minimum value of each variable, and variables with implausible values were flagged. All variables were summarized and reported for the study using descriptive statistics. Interval variables were summarized and reported in terms of n, %, mean, and standard deviation. Categorical variables were summarized and reported in terms of frequency distribution. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to assess the predictive accuracy. About 95% CI was calculated to assess the predictive accuracy of the diagnostic ultrasounds, chest radiograph, clinical suspicion, and laboratory investigation, relative to the clinical diagnosis results (with clinical diagnosis representing the gold standard measurement for the unknown true outcome status).

For all analyses, ultrasound reports, clinical suspicion, and chest radiograph reports were classified into two levels namely “Abnormal” and “Normal.” The findings such as paralysis and paresis from ultrasound and clinical suspicion results were categorized as “Abnormal.” However, the low and high findings from chest radiograph report were considered “Abnormal.” All statistical analyses were done using SAS software version 9.4 or higher (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA).

From a total of 163 pediatric patients under the age of 14 years having clinical suspicion of diaphragmatic dysfunction, a total of 131 met clinical inclusion criteria for our study. The mean age was 1.6 (SD 2.6) years and there were 44.3% of male and 55.7% of female patients. A summary of demographic and baseline characteristics detailed in Table 1 .

Demographic and baseline characteristics of patients investigated for diaphragmatic dysfunction (n=131). Data shown are frequencies; n (%) or mean±SD

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g003.jpg

Table 2 summarizes the results of ultrasound, clinical suspicion, laboratory investigation and chest radiograph of right side hemi-diaphragm. There were 102 reports classified as normal by clinical diagnosis, out of which 45.1% of reports were correctly identified as normal by clinical suspicion, 9.8% were identified as paresis by clinical suspicion, and 45.1% were classified as paralysis. Out of 11 identified paralysis cases by clinical diagnosis, only one report (9.1%) was classified as paresis, whereas 10 (90.9%) reports were correctly classified as paralysis by clinical suspicion. Out of 18 clinically diagnosed paresis cases, 15 (83.3%) were identified as paralysis by clinical suspicion, whereas 3 (16.7%) reports were correctly identified as paresis. The results identified by clinical suspicion and clinical diagnosis were significantly different ( P < 0.0001). Similar trend was seen for ultrasound and clinical diagnosis reports. The chest radiograph and laboratory investigation reports were not significantly different with clinical diagnosis reports.

Results of comparing right hemi-diaphragm dysfunction diagnosis by clinical suspicion, laboratory investigation, ultrasound, and X-ray. Data shown are frequencies; n (%) and Fisher’s exact test calculated P- values

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g004.jpg

Table 3 summarizes results of ultrasound, clinical suspicion, laboratory investigation, and chest radiograph of the left side hemi-diaphragm. Out of 90 clinically diagnosed normal reports, 35 (38.9%) reports were correctly classified as normal by clinical suspicion, 84 (93.3%) by ultrasound, and only 26 (28.9%) by X-ray. 45 (50.0%) reports were identified as paralysis by clinical suspicion and X-ray, and only one (1.1%) by ultrasound. The results obtained by clinical suspicion and ultrasounds were significantly different from clinical diagnosis. The chest radiograph and laboratory investigation reports were not significantly different with clinical diagnosis.

Results of comparing left hemi-diaphragm dysfunction diagnosis by clinical suspicion, laboratory investigation, ultrasound, and X-ray. Data shown are frequencies; n (%) and Fisher’s exact test calculated P- values

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g005.jpg

Table 4 summarizes the classification results of ultrasound, clinical suspicion, and X-ray in predicting clinical diagnosis on the right hemi-diaphragm. The ultrasound yielded 96.6% sensitivity and 90.3% PPVs, 99% NPV, and 97.1% specificity. The ultrasound results produced perfect classification for discriminating between clinical diagnosis results with accuracy of 96.95% and precision of 90.32%. The sensitivity and PPV for clinical suspicion were 100% and 34.1%, whereas, only 27.6% of sensitivity and 29.6% of PPV achieved by chest radiograph. The specificity and NPV were 45.1% and 100% for clinical suspicion, 81.4% and 79.8% for chest radiograph, respectively. The clinical suspicion and chest radiograph results produced poor classification for discriminating between clinical diagnosis results with accuracy of 57.25% and 69.47% and precision of 34.12% and 29.63%, respectively.

Comparative results of the right hemi-diaphragm dysfunction diagnosis by clinical suspicion, ultrasound, and X-ray

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g006.jpg

Table 5 depicts the classification results of ultrasound, clinical suspicion, and chest radiograph in predicting clinical diagnosis on the left hemi-diaphragm. The ultrasound showed 90.2% sensitivity and 86.0% PPV, 95.5% NPV, and 93.3% specificity. Results showed little high variability in comparison to classification results obtained for the right hemi-diaphragm. The ultrasound results produced good classification for discriminating between clinical diagnosis results with accuracy of 92.37% and precision of 86.05%. The sensitivity and PPV for clinical suspicion were 95.1% and 41.5%, whereas 73.2% of sensitivity and 31.9% of PPV were achieved by chest radiograph. The specificity and NPV were 38.9% and 94.6% for clinical suspicion, and only 28.9% and 70.3% for chest radiograph, respectively. The clinical suspicion and chest radiograph results produced poor classification for discriminating between clinical diagnosis results with accuracy of 56.49% and 42.75% and precision of 41.49% and 31.91%, respectively.

Comparative results of the left hemi-diaphragm dysfunction diagnosis by clinical suspicion, ultrasound, and X-ray

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g007.jpg

Figure 3 summarizes the accuracy results of clinical suspicion, ultrasound, and chest radiograph with clinical diagnosis performed on the left and right side hemi-diaphragm.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJHS-17-11-g008.jpg

Summary of accuracy results of clinical suspicion, ultrasound, and chest radiograph with clinical diagnosis performed on the left and right side hemi-diaphragm.

The term, diaphragmatic dysfunction includes eventration, paresis and paralysis.[ 6 ] Eventration is a permanent elevation of entire or part of the hemi-diaphragm caused by thinning.[ 6 , 7 , 26 , 27 ] Diaphragmatic paresis would be the partial loss of muscle strength to generate necessary pressure for adequate ventilation.[ 26 , 28 ] While paralysis means the total absence of this capacity. Diaphragmatic paralysis can arise from either weakness of the muscle itself or damage to its nerve supply. Depending on the severity of the paralysis and whether it is unilateral or bilateral, patients can have varied clinical manifestations such as dyspnea, intolerance to exercise, sleep disturbances, hypersomnia, and with a potential impact on survival.[ 4 , 5 ] A patient may be asymptomatic, often diagnosed during investigation of unexplained dyspnea or, occasionally, after the casual finding of a diaphragmatic elevation in an imaging radiograph performed for another purpose for unrelated aliment, while another may be ventilator dependent.[ 5 , 29 ]

Diaphragmatic dysfunction is still a matter of concern after cardiothoracic surgery, especially among young children and neonates. The prevalence of diaphragmatic dysfunction after cardiothoracic surgery in children varies from 0.3 to 12.8%.[ 10 ] Timely diagnosis of abnormal diaphragmatic motion is essential for patient in immediate post-operative period to minimize potential risk and to ascertain appropriate therapeutic approach. The diagnosis of diaphragm dysfunction can be done by laboratory investigation, diaphragmatic ultrasonography and chest radiograph.

Our retrospective study demonstrates the accuracy of ultrasonography as 96.95% on right side and 92.37% on the left side in diagnosing diaphragmatic dysfunction. Ultrasonography proved to be highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tool over chest radiograph and clinical suspicion approach. The second-best results were obtained by chest radiograph and prove to be more efficient in diagnosis of right hemi-diaphragm dysfunction. Slightly less accurate results were obtained by clinical suspicion as compared to chest radiograph.

Diaphragmatic ultrasound has some limitations. First, ultrasound systems have inherent resolution limits (usually 0.1 mm). In addition, the assessment of the left hemidiaphragm can be problematic. However, taking extra precautions during the diaphragmatic ultrasound examination (e.g., placing the patient in the supine position and rotating the transducer) can help overcome these limitations. Furthermore, because ultrasound is an operator-dependent examination, repeated training can improve accuracy. Moreover, although diaphragmatic ultrasound has been shown to have a steep learning curve when applied in healthy subjects, few studies have evaluated how to develop the appropriate skills. One study, involving a pediatric population, found that 4 h of hands-on diaphragmatic ultrasound training focused on the recognition of normal and abnormal diaphragmatic motion resulted in high concordance between the diaphragmatic ultrasound findings reported by a trainee and those reported by a pediatric intensivist.[ 30 , 31 ]

Diaphragmatic ultrasound appears to be a valid and reliable diagnostic tool for diagnosis of abnormal diaphragmatic motion. At present, the more emphasis should be given to use of ultrasonography due to its non-invasive and non-radiating characteristics, and convenient portability that eliminates risk of transportation. Thus, ultrasound assessment should be part of the diagnostic checklist, particularly in ICU where patient’s cooperation is not essential. Diaphragm ultrasound may act as an imaging tool guiding rehabilitation success in diaphragmatic dysfunction cases.

Authors Declaration Statements

Ethical approval and patients consent.

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Availability of data and materials

Competing interests.

The author declared no conflict of interests.

Funding statement

This study is self-funded.

Author contribution

A.S.J. designed the study, prepared the manuscript, the statistical analysis, and the interpretation of results.

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank all the patients who participated in this study.

United Spinal Resource Center

  • Submit a Request
  • Check on a Request
  • Knowledge Books
  • Adaptive Vehicles
  • Adjusting To SCI/D
  • Assistive Technology &amp; Products
  • Useful Spinal Cord Injury Directories
  • Disaster Relief & Emergency Preparedness
  • Family and Personal Relationships
  • Federal/State Benefits
  • Financial Assistance For Individuals With Disabilities
  • Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users
  • Health & Wellness after SCI
  • Helpful Groups in the Spinal Cord Injury and Disease World
  • Home Modifications
  • International Spinal Cord Injury Resources
  • Legal Issues & Services
  • LGBTQIA + Resources
  • New Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Onset
  • Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury & Disease
  • Physicians - Locating Specialists
  • Preventing Spinal Cord Injury
  • Professional Organizations, Journals, and Education
  • Rehabilitation, New Injury & Recovery Programs
  • Research about SCI/D
  • Rural Resources
  • Service Animals
  • Spanish Language Resources
  • Spinal Cord Diseases or Disorders
  • Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders Lexicon
  • Sports, Recreation & Fitness
  • State & Local Resources
  • Success Stories - Living with SCI/D
  • Support Groups
  • Traveling With A Disability
  • UsersFirst Mobility Map
  • Video Resources
  • Wheelchairs
  • Women's Issues

Help Desk → Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders Lexicon → Medical Terms and Abbreviations → Medical Terms and Definitions

1.2. Medical Terms and Definitions

Abdominal Binder (Abdominal support, binder, corset) Wide elastic (or other material) binders that are worn to help prevent a drop in blood pressure or to help empty the bladder in some patients. They can also be used to improve posture and balance while seated in a wheelchair.

Abductor muscle A muscle used to pull a body part away from the midline of the body (e.g., the abductor leg muscles are used to spread the legs).

Acute Having rapid onset, usually with recovery; not chronic or long-lasting.

Acute Stage The early stage of an injury (as opposed to chronic, which is long term), in SCI, early management of acute trauma, including better roadside emergency care, has reduced the number of complete injuries.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) ADL's include activities necessary for everyday living. These include such activities as eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, and using the toilet. Smaller parts of a larger activity can also be considered ADL's. Opening a can, writing, driving, and just the act of moving or having mobility can all be considered ADL's that contribute to a larger or an end activity. Activities of daily living need not be accomplished independently. Many people with disabilities require assistance with some or all ADL's. Whether accomplished independently or with help, it still constitutes performing an ADL. Healthcare professionals such as therapists and rehabilitation specialists train people how to best perform activities of daily living by maximizing the persons potential either through therapy programs or by using adaptive and assistive devices and technology.

Adductor muscle A muscle that pulls inward toward the midline of the body (e.g., the adductor leg muscles are used to pull the legs together).

Advance (medical) directive Advance directives preserve the person's right to accept or reject a course of medical treatment even after the person becomes mentally or physically incapacitated to the point of being unable to communicate those wishes. Advance directives come in two basic forms: (1) a living will, in which the person outlines specific treatment guidelines that are to be followed by health care providers; (2) a health care proxy (also called a power of attorney for health care decision-making), in which the person designates a trusted individual to make medical decisions in the event that he or she becomes too incapacitated to make such decisions. Advance directive requirements vary greatly from one state to another and should therefore be drawn up in consultation with an attorney who is familiar with the laws of the particular state.

Ambulation Walking with or without aids, such as braces and crutches.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA is a federal civil rights law designed to prevent discrimination and enable individuals with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS) A rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling muscles .

Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) An ankle-foot orthosis is a brace, usually plastic, that is worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle and correct foot drop. By holding the foot and ankle in the correct position, the AFO promotes correct heel-toe walking.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Arthritis of the spine which may progress to bony ankylosis (fusion) with ossification of the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments; the disease is more common in males.

Ankylosis Fixation (fusion) of a joint leading to immobility, due to ossification or bony deposits of calcium at joints.

Anterior Cord Syndrome An incomplete spinal injury in which all functions are absent below the level of injury except proprioception and sensation.

Anterior Spinal Artery Syndrome (Anterior Cord Syndrome) Anterior spinal artery syndrome refers to the anterior spinal artery that originates from the vertebral arteries and basal artery at the base of the brain and supplies the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord to the upper thoracic (chest) region. The lesion produces variable loss of motor function and of sensitivity to pinprick and temperature, while preserving proprioception (position sense).

Anticholinergic The action of certain medications commonly used in the management of neurogenic bladder dysfunction. These medications inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses and thereby reduce spasms of smooth muscle in the bladder.

Arachnoid Membrane The middle of three membranes protecting the brain and spinal cord.

Arachnoiditis Inflammation and scarring of the arachnoid membrane covering the spinal cord.

ASIA Impairment Scale A measure of function after spinal cord injury, used by physicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

  • ASIA A - Complete: No motor or sensory function is preserved in the sacral segments S4-S5.
  • ASIA B - Incomplete: Sensory but not motor function is preserved below the neurological level and includes the sacral segments S4-S5.
  • ASIA C – Incomplete: Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and more than half of key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade less than 3.
  • ASIA D – Incomplete: Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and at least half of key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade of 3 or more.
  • ASIA E – Normal: motor and sensory function are normal.

Assisted Cough A technique in which the patient is assisted by another individual to produce a more forceful and productive cough.

Assistive Technology (AT) Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities use AT to accommodate limitations due to their disabilities.

Astrocyte Star-shaped glial cells which provide the necessary chemical and physical environment for nerve regeneration.

Ataxia The lack of coordination and unsteadiness that result from the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and the strength and direction of limb movements.

Atrophy A wasting away or decrease in size of a cell, tissue, organ, or part of the body due to lack of nourishment, or use.

Autonomic Dysreflexia (Hyperreflexia or Crisis) A potentially dangerous complication which occurs in people with spinal cord injuries at the level of T6 and above causing high blood pressure, sweating, chills and headaches. Typical causes include an overfull bladder, impacted bowel or ingrown toenail. It is treated by removing the offending stimulus and giving the patient medication.

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) The part of the nervous system that controls involuntary activities, including heart muscle, glands, and smooth muscle tissue. The autonomic nervous system is subdivided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

Axon The nerve fiber that carries an impulse from the nerve cell to a target, and also carries materials from the nerve terminals back to the nerve cell. A long, slender part of a neuron that carries the electrochemical signal to another neuron. It's the main or core nerve fiber which generally conducts impulses away from the cell body.

Bed Sore – See Decubitus Ulcer

Bell's palsy A paralysis of the facial nerve (usually on one side of the face), which can occur as a consequence of MS, viral infection, or other infections. It has acute onset and can be transient or permanent.

Biofeedback A process that provides sight or sound information about body functions, such as blood pressure and muscle tension, and enables patients to control these functions.

Bladder Training Program Method by which the bladder is trained to empty ( micturition ) without the use of an indwelling catheter. Involves drinking measured amounts of fluid, and allowing the bladder to fill and empty at timed intervals. See intermittent catheterization.

Bowel Training Program The establishment of a "habit program" or a specific time to empty the bowel – also known as a " dil " – so that regularity can be achieved. Stool softeners might be recommended, as might common laxatives. The main side effect of both softeners and laxative is diarrhea. Suppositories useful to initiate elimination however ; an ideal management program does not rely on suppositories . Enemas relieve fecal impaction but should not be used as a routine method.

Breakdown - See Decubitus Ulcer

Brown-Sequard Syndrome An incomplete spinal cord injury where half of the cord has been damaged. The Brown-Sequard syndrome is caused by a functional section of half of the spinal cord. This results in motor loss on the same side as the lesion and sensory loss on the opposite side. This syndrome is very often associated with fairly normal bowel and bladder function and does not prevent the person from being able to walk, although some functional bracing or ambulatory device such as a cane or crutch may be necessary.

Calculi Stones that may form in either kidney or bladder.

Catheter (includes Urinary catheter, intermittent catheter, Foley catheter, external catheter, Texas catheter, condom catheter, suprapubic catheter) Internal catheters are a hollow, flexible tube, most often made of plastic or rubber, that is inserted through the urinary opening into the bladder to drain urine. These tubes are connected to an external bag that collects the urine. Intermittent catheters are used periodically throughout the day. They are inserted routinely for purposes of emptying the bladder and are removed once the process is finished. External catheters can be used by men. They resemble a condom that is placed over the penis. The external catheter is connected to a collection bag (customarily strapped to the users leg) by way of tubing.

Cauda Equina The collection of spinal roots descending from the lower part of the spinal cord at the L1 level.

Cauda Equina Syndrome Injury to the nerves still within the spinal cord as they form a "horse's tail" to exit the lumbar and spinal regions. This usually occurs with fractures below the L2 level and results in flaccid-type paralysis. The type of bladder and bowel impairment that results from such an injury depends on the level of the injury and can be problematic, particularly for women, who may have difficulty with urinary drainage and incontinence.

Central Cord Syndrome A lesion, occurring almost exclusively in the cervical region, that produces sacral sensory sparing and greater weakness in the upper limbs than in the lower limbs. A central cord syndrome indicates there is an injury to the central structures of the spinal cord. This is most commonly seen in older patients with cervical arthritis and may occur in the absence of spinal fracture.

Central Nervous System (CNS) The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) A colorless solution similar to plasma protecting the brain and spinal cord from shock. A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) is used to draw CSF.

Cervical The upper spine (neck) area of the vertebral column. Cervical injuries often result in quadriplegia (tetraplegia).

Cervical Spine The seven bones or vertebrae of the spine in the region of the neck.

Chronic Of long duration, not acute; a term often used to describe a disease or injury that shows gradual worsening.

Clinical Trial Rigorously controlled studies designed to provide extensive data that will allow for statistically valid evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a particular treatment.

Clonus A sign of spasticity in which involuntary shaking or jerking of the leg occurs when the toe is placed on the floor with the knee slightly bent. The shaking is caused by repeated, rhythmic, reflex muscle contractions.

Cognition High level functions carried out by the human brain, including comprehension and use of speech, visual perception and construction, calculation ability, attention (information processing), memory, and executive functions such as planning, problem-solving, and self-monitoring.

Cognitive impairment Changes in cognitive function caused by trauma or disease process. Some degree of cognitive impairment occurs in approximately 50-60 percent of people with MS, with memory, information processing, and executive functions being the most commonly affected functions.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury or Lesion Severing of the spinal cord that causes total paralysis (loss of movement) and loss of sensation (feeling) below the level of injury. Below the level of injury the spinal cord is no longer able to send sensory and motor nerve impulses resulting in permanent loss of function. This results in complete paraplegia or tetraplegia.  How complete an injury is may not be known for several months after injury. 

Condom Catheter External urine collecting device used by males. A condom catheter is an external incontinence device consisting of a flexible sheath that fits over the penis similar to a condom . The condom part is attached to a tube that drains the urine into a urinary storage bag.

Contracture Contracture is a pathologic, involuntary, irreversible shortening of a muscle. The affected joint can no longer be moved through its normal range. A muscle contracture is a permanent shortening of a muscle or joint. It is usually in response to prolonged hypertonic spasticity in a concentrated muscle area, such as is seen in the tightest muscles of people with conditions like spastic cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury. Contractures are essentially muscles or tendons that have gotten too tight for too long, thus becoming shorter. Once they occur they cannot be stretched or exercised away; they must be released by surgical or other methods. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other exercise regimens targeted towards people with spasticity focuses on trying to prevent contractures from happening in the first place.

Conus Medullaris Syndrome Injury of the sacral cord (conus) and lumbar nerve roots within the neural canal, which usually results in an areflexic bladder, bowel and lower limbs. Sacral segments may occasionally show preserved reflexes with higher lesions.

Crede A technique of pressing down and inward over the bladder to facilitate voiding.

Crisis – See Autonomic Dysreflexia

Cystoscopy A diagnostic procedure in which a special viewing device called a cystoscope is inserted into the urethra (a tubular structure that drains urine from the bladder) to examine the inside of the urinary bladder.

Cystostomy A surgically created opening through the lower abdomen into the urinary bladder. A plastic tube inserted into the opening drains urine from the bladder into a plastic collection bag. This relatively simple procedure is done when a person requires an indwelling catheter to drain excess urine from the bladder but cannot, for some reason, have it pass through the urethral opening.

Decubitus Ulcer (Pressure Sores, Bed Sores, Breakdown) Decubitus ulcers are ulcerated areas of skin over bony areas. When parts of the body are under continuous pressure, blood supply to that area is hindered and a decubitus ulcer may develop. Decubitii (multiple deculitus ulcers) occur whenever and wherever there is too much pressure on soft tissue. They can develop where there is a small amount of pressure applied for a long time, or a great deal of pressure for a short period of time. Other factors such as poor diet, poor personal hygiene, and incontinence can increase the risk for developing pressure sores.

Demyelination The loss of nerve fiber "insulation" due to trauma or disease, which reduces the ability of nerves to conduct impulses.

Diplopia Double vision, or the simultaneous awareness of two images of the same object that results from a failure of the two eyes to work in a coordinated fashion. Covering one eye will erase one of the images.

Dysphagia Difficulty in swallowing.

Edema Swelling; most commonly present in legs and feet. Edema occurs when the body tissues contain an excessive amount of watery fluids, increasing skin sensitivity and risk of pressure sores.

Electro-ejaculation A means of extracting sperm from men with erectile dysfunction by electrical stimulation.

Endotreacheal Tube A tube inserted into the mouth or nose that serves as an artificial airway. It passes through the vocal cords, and therefore speech is not possible with this tube in place. It is the tube that connects a respirator to the patient.

External Continence Device (ECD) Male external urine control device that attaches to tip of penis.

Flaccidity A form of paralysis in which muscles are soft and limp. Sometimes considered to be the opposite of spasticity.

Foley Catheter A Foley catheter is a flexible tube that is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. The tube has two separated channels, or lumens, running down its length. One lumen is open at both ends, and allows urine to drain out into a collection bag. The other lumen has a valve on the outside end and connects to a balloon at the tip; the balloon is inflated with sterile water when it lies inside the bladder, in order to stop it from slipping out. Functional Ability How well an individual can perform activities of daily living without assistance from another person. Functional ability can be improved through therapy or training in techniques specific to the acitivity as in performing transfers. Assistive technology devices such as wheelchairs, walking aids and other devices help to improve function and can be an important component of the activity.

Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) The application of low-level, computer-controlled electric current to the neuromuscular system, including paralyzed muscle. FES is a method of producing contractions in muscles, paralysed due to central nervous system lesions, by means of electrical stimulation. The electrical stimulation is applied either by skin surface electrodes or by implanted electrodes for purposes of restoring movement for functional use of the extremeties.

Glial Cells Supportive cells associated with neurons. Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are central nervous system glial cells. In the peripheral nervous system the main glial cells are called Schwann cells.

Halo Traction The process of immobilizing the upper body and cervical spine with a traction device. The device consists of a metal ring around the head, held in place with pins into the skull. A supporting frame is attached to the ring and to a body jacket or vest to provide immobilization.

Health care proxy – See Advance (medical) directive.

Hemiparesis Weakness on one side of one's body, including one arm and one leg.

Hemiplegia Paralysis on one side of one's body, including one arm and one leg.

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) The formation of new bone deposits in the connective tissue surrounding the major joints, primarily the hip and knee. A disorder characterized by the deposition of large quantities of calcium at the site of a bone injury. Often the result of prolonged immobilization. [heterotopic bone].

Hyperreflexia – See Autonomic Dysreflexia

Hypothermia An extreme lowering of the body temperature. A technique used to cool the spinal cord after injury.

Impaction A blockage of the bowel with stool that results in severe constipation. Persons at risk for chronic constipation and fecal impaction include those who do not move around much and spend most of their time in a chair or bed and those that have diseases of the brain or nervous system that damage the nerves that go to the muscles of the intestines. Fecal impaction can cause pain and vomiting, and a person with fecal impaction may require emergency treatment or hospitalization.

Incomplete Injury or Lesion Some movement and/or feeling remains below the level of injury, movement and feeling may improve over time. Depending on where the spinal cord and nerve roots are damaged, the symptoms can vary widely, from pain to paralysis to incontinence. Spinal cord injuries that are described as "incomplete", can vary from having no effect on the patient to a "complete" injury which means a total loss of function.

Incontinence (Bladder incontinence, bowel incontinence) Incontinence can relate to the bladder or the bowels. It means that there is no control over the process of emptying the bladder or having a bowel movement. For many people with spinal cord involvement this means using a catheter to help with urinating and using a planned program of bowel training and care to help with bowel movements.

Indwelling Catheter A flexible tube, retained in the bladder, and used for continuous urinary drainage to a leg bag/urinary drainage bag or other device.

Informed Consent A patient's right to know the risks and benefits of a medical procedure.

Intermittent Catheterization (ICP) Using a catheter for emptying the bladder on a regular schedule. See self-catheterization. The process is performed on a regular timed basis. Procedure intervals are closer together at first, often 4 to 6 times daily. As the person improves and the bladder voids more efficiently, the procedure interval time is extended and may result in 10 and 12 hour intervals between procedures.

Intrathecal Baclofen Administration of the anti-spasm drug Baclofen directly to the spinal cord by way of a surgically implanted pump. Baclofen (brand names Kemstro, Lioresal, and Gablofen) is a derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) . It is primarily used to treat spasticity

Intubation Insertion of a tube through the nose or mouth into the windpipe to keep the airways open, prevent fluids from entering the lungs, and remove fluids from the lung.

Joint Extension A movement of a joint that results in increased angle between two bones. Extension usually results in straightening of the bones or body surfaces involved. For example, extension is produced by extending the flexed (bent) elbow. Straightening of the arm would require extension at the elbow joint. Tilting the head all the way back places the neck in extension. Standing up requires extending both the knee and hip joints. Fingers point out straight when the joints of the fingers are all extended. Depending on the level and completeness of spinal cord injury, muscle function may be insufficient for extending joints (paralysis). This makes performing even small tasks and activities difficult or even impossible independently. Joint Flexion Bending of a joint that results in a decreased angle between two bones. It is the opposite of extension. It occurs at the knee when bending down or sitting. Bending down or leaning forward when picking something up requires flexion of the hips and knees. Making a fist or grasping requires joints of the fingers to flex inward. Depending on the level and completeness of spinal cord injury, muscle function may be insufficient for flexing joints (paralysis). This makes performing even small tasks and activities difficult or even impossible independently.

Laminectomy The complete or partial surgical removal of the arch of bony sections of the spinal vertebra.

Leg Bag External bag which is strapped to the leg for collection of urine.

Lesion An injury or wound.

Lithotripsy A non-invasive treatment for kidney stones. Shock waves, generated under water by a spark plug, crumble stones into pieces that will pass with urine.

Lumbar Pertaining to that area immediately below the thoracic spine; the lumbar spine is the strongest part of the spine, the lower back.

Motoneuron (motor neuron) A nerve cell whose cell body is located in the brain and spinal cord and whose axons leave the central nervous system by way of cranial nerves or spinal roots. Motoneurons supply information to muscle. A motor unit is the combination of the motoneuron and the set of muscle fibers it innervates.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) An autoimmune disease, or disease that affects the system of the body that fights illness and disease, affects twice as many women as men. In Multiple Sclerosis, the body's immune system attacks the central nervous system, destroying myelin (the fatty sheath which surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers). As a result, nerve impulses that send signals to and from the brain are slowed or halted.

Myelin A white, fatty insulating material for axons which is produced in the peripheral nervous system by Schwann cells, and in the central nervous system by oligodendrocytes. Myelin is necessary for rapid signal transmission along nerve fibers, ten to one hundred times faster than in bare fibers lacking its insulation properties. It insulates axons giving the "white matter" of the central nervous system its characteristic color.

Neurogenic Bladder Any bladder disturbance due to an injury of the nervous system.

Neurological Level Refers to the lowest segment of the spinal cord with normal sensory and motor function on both sides of the body. In fact, the segments at which normal function is found often differ by side of body and in terms of sensory vs. motor testing. Thus, up to four different segments may be identified in determining the neurological level. In cases such as this, generally each of these segments is separately recorded and a single "level".

Neuron A nerve cell that can receive and send information by way of synaptic connections consisting of the cell body and extensions of the nerve called axons and dendrites.

Neuropathic/Spinal Cord Pain Neuropathic (nerve-generated) pain is a problem experienced by SCI patients. A sharp, almost electrical shock, type of pain will be felt to the left of the injury and is the result of damage to the spine and soft tissue surrounding the spine. Phantom limb pain or radiating pain from the level of the lesion is related to the injury or dysfunction at the nerve root or spinal cord.

Neurotransmitter A chemical released from a neuron ending, at a synapse, to either excite or inhibit the adjacent neuron or muscle cell. A chemical synthesized within the nerve cell body, characteristic for this type of nerve, and stored at the nerves in pods as granules. Release of these chemicals into the synaptic cleft between axons facilitates nerve transmissions.

Oligodendrocyte A central nervous system glial cell. Oligodendrocytes are the site of myelin manufacture for central nervous system neurons (the job of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system).

Osteoporosis Loss of bone density or atrophy of skeletal tissue, common in immobile bones after spinal cord injury. This loss of bone density increases the potential for fractures and breaks. Persons with spinal cord injury or disease need to be cautious. Depending on the degree of osteoporosis, it need not take a fall or hard impact to fracture a bone. Fractures can occur after mild impacts or even by twisting an extremity while performing any number of activities of daily living.

Ostomy An opening in the skin to allow for a suprapubic catheter (for elimination of intestinal contents) or for the passage of air (a tracheostomy).

Paraplegia, Paraplegic, Para Loss of use of the lower half of the body (paralysis) including both legs, certain bodily functions, and loss of sensation to the involved area. Usually caused by spinal cord damage, disease, or congenital malformation (as in Spina Bifida). A paraplegic or para is a person who experiences paraplegia.

Paresis Weakness in muscle; partial or incomplete paralysis.

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) Nerves outside the spinal cord and brain (not part of the central nervous system). Peripheral nerves have the ability to regenerate.

Plasticity Long-term adaptive mechanism by which the nervous system restores or modifies itself toward normal levels of function.

Poliomyelitis (Polio) Polio is an acute infectious disease affecting the motor nerves (lower motor neurones) in the central nervous system responsible for muscle contraction. If nerve cells are damaged the corresponding muscles are affected, resulting in muscular weakness or paralysis with varying degrees of severity and distribution. Polio can cause death by paralyzing the muscles that help in breathing.

Pressure Release (Pressure Relief, Weight Shift) Relieving pressure from the ischial turberosities (bones on which we sit) every 15 min. in order to prevent pressure sores when in a wheelchair or a seated position. This can be accomplished in a number of ways depending upon the upper extremity strength of the individual. If able, a person can lift himself up off of the wheelchair seat for 15-30 seconds. If unable to lift up, pressure relief can be accomplished by cautious leaning to one side for 15-30 seconds, then to the other side for a similar period of time. For those indiviudals who are unable to lean to one side or the other, a wheelchair with a tilting or reclining seat may be necessary. Tilting the seating system back will lower pressure to some extent as will laying back. When in bed, pressure is greatly reduced when the hips are kept at no more than 30 degrees of flexion (bending forward at the hip).

Pressure Sore - S ee Decubitus Ulcer

Proprioception The internal sense that allows a person to know the position of parts of the body, relative to other parts of the body.

Prosthesis (Prosthetic, Prosthetics) Replacement device for a body part, for example an artificial limb.

Psychosocial Pertaining to the psychological, social and environmental aspects of human functioning.

Post Void Residual (PVR) The volume of urine left in bladder after the patient voids (urinates).

Quad Cough A method of helping a patient with tetraplegia (quadriplegia) cough by applying external pressure to the diaphragm, thus increasing the force and clearing the respiratory tract. This is very often necessary for those with new spinal cord injuries to prevent pneumonia. In some cases a lightweight elastic binder that exerts some inward pressure can be worn to assist in coughing and exhaling.

Quadriparesis Partial loss of function in all four (4) extremities of the body.

Quadriplegia Quadirplegic, Quad Loss of function affecting all four limbs caused by an injury to or disease affecting the cervical spinal cord. A high quad is usually defined as someone with an injury at the C1, C2, C3 or even C4 level. Mid-level quads are those persons injured at C5. Low level quads those persons injured at C6 and C7. Outside of the U.S., the term tetraplegia is used (which is etymologically more accurate, combining tetra-plegia, both from the Greek, rather than quardri-plegia, a Latin/Greek amalgam). A quadriplegic or quad is person who has quadriplegia.

Range of Motion (ROM) The range of movement of a joint. Joint excursion or how far in degrees a joint can move in any given direction. Range of Motion also refers to exercises designed to maintain a normal joint range and prevent contractures.

Reflex An involuntary response to a stimulus involving nerves not under the control of the brain. In some types of paralysis, reflexes become exaggerated and may cause spasms.

Reflux The backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters and kidney.

Regeneration The re-growth or repair of nerve fiber tissue, which can permit the return of function.

Residual Urine Urine that remains in the bladder after voiding. Too much left can lead to a bladder infection.

Rhizotomy The cutting, or interruption, of spinal nerve roots.

Sacral Refers to the fused segments of the lower vertebrae or lowest spinal cord segments below the lumbar level.

Sacrum The lowest part of the spine. The bones or vertebrae in this section of the spine end with the "tailbone" and join the pelvis (hip).

Schwann Cells Responsible in the peripheral nervous system for myelinating axons they also provide trophic (nutrition) support in injury situation.

Secondary Injury The biochemical and physiological changes that occur in the injured spinal cord after the initial trauma has done its damage.

Sensory Level and Motor Level When the term "sensory level" is used, it refers to the lowest segment of the spinal cord with normal sensory function on both sides of the body; the motor level is similarly defined with respect to motor function. These "levels" are determined by neurological examination of (1) a key sensory point with in each of 28 dermatomes (section of skin innervated by a single sensory axon) on the right and 28 dermatomes on the left side of the body, and (2) a key muscle within each of 10 myotomes (section of muscle innervated by a single motor axon) on the right and 10 myotomes on the left side of the body.

Spasm, Spasticity Hyperactive muscles that move or jerk involuntarily. Spasms may be caused by bladder infections, skin ulcers, and any other sensory stimulus. Such uncontrolled muscle activity is caused by excessive reflex activity below the level of lesion. Some spasticity can be beneficial in that they serve as a warning mechanism to identify pain or problems, they improve circulation and maintain muscle tone. If severe, through, spasms can interfere with normal activities, and can hasten contractions as muscles shorten. Spasticity is typically treated with the following medications: baclofen, clonidine, dantrium, tizanidine or valium.

Sphincterotomy The cutting of the bladder sphincter muscle to eliminate spasticity and related voiding problems.

Spina Bifida Spina Bifida occurs when the spine of an infant does not form properly. An opening in the spine causes damage to the lining of the spinal column, the spinal nerves, and frequently to the spinal cord itself. The damage that occurs may lead to muscle weakness, paralysis, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Most of these infants grow into adulthood with different degrees of disabilities.

Spinal Cord The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and fibers, about the thickness of a little finger, that transmits messages to and from the brain. It extends from the brain to the lower back and is protected by the 33 vertebrae. These nerves can be either motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves.

The spinal cord transmits messages between the peripheral nerves and the brain. For example if a person puts his hand near a flame, a sensory nerve, which is part of the peripheral system, transmits the "message" that the hand is very hot to the spinal cord. The spinal cord then transmits the message to the brain, where it is interpreted. The brain then sends a message down the spinal cord to the motor nerves at the place of the sensation so that the motor nerves can instruct the muscles to pull the hand away from the flame.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord, the major bundle of nerves that carry nerve impulses to and from the brain to the rest of the body. It can also be associated with congenital or degenerative disease. SCI results in a loss of mobility, feeling, or other bodily function. Frequent causes of SCI are trauma (such as a car accident, an act of violence, or falls), disease (such as polio or multiple sclerosis) or congenital defects (such as spina bifida).

A complete injury results in no function below the injury, no sensation, and no voluntary movement. An incomplete injury allows some function, sensation, and movement below the primary site of the injury. People with SCI may also have many other problems including bowel and bladder that do not function right, pressure sores, kidney involvement, respiratory problems, severe and chronic pain, osteoporosis (brittle bones), sexual dysfunction, involuntary spasms, impaired vision, inability to chew or swallow, and joint contractures (fixed joint deformities).

Sphincter A muscle that encircles a duct, tube, or orifice.

Spinal Shock The body's initial response to SCI, which lasts 3-4 weeks and causes immediate flaccid paralysis, in which the muscles are soft or weak. Similar to a concussion in the brain, spinal shock causes the system to shut down. Spinal Stenosis Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal column that may occur in any of the regions of the spine. The most common forms are cervical spinal stenosis, at the level of the neck, and lumbar spinal stenosis, at the level of the lower back. Thoracic spinal stenosis, at the level of the mid-back, is much less common. Spinal cord stenosis can lead to compression of the spinal cord that can result in serious symptoms, including major body weakness or even paralysis.

Stenosis A narrowing of a canal.

Suctioning The upper airway warms, cleans and moistens the air we breathe. The trach tube bypasses these mechanisms, so that the air moving through the tube is cooler, dryer and not as clean.  In response to these changes, the body produces more mucus.  Suctioning clears mucus from the tracheostomy tube and is essential for proper breathing. Also, secretions left in the tube could become contaminated and a chest infection could develop.  Avoid suctioning too frequently as this could lead to more secretion buildup. Johns Hopkins Medicine

Suprapubic Catheter This is a small surgical incision that is made just above the pubic bone and into the bladder. A catheter (SP-tube) is inserted for purposes of draining urine. This is sometimes a temporary procedure after surgery or while treating a medical problem that does not allow for the persons regular method of urine drainage. People who have had problems with other methods or can not manage other types of catheters are often advised to have a suprapubic procedure done. The catheter that is inserted must be changed on a regular basis. Patients with suprapubic catheters and other inswelling catheters should be mindful that there is an increased risk of bladder tumors associated with these devices.

Suprapubic Cystostomy A small opening made in the bladder and through the abdomen, sometimes to remove large stones, more commonly to establish a catheter urinary drain.

Synapse The specialized junction between a neuron and another neuron or muscle cell for transfer of information such as brain signals, sensory inputs, etc., along the nervous system. These are the junctions between the "sending" fibers of one nerve cell, to the "receiving" fibers of other nerve cells. The axon (sending fiber) ends in multiple branches, each of which has a button-like enlargement that nearly touches the "receiving" fibers of the other nerve cell bodies. Nerve cells "talk" to each other via synapses. Basically the connection between the end of a nerve and the adjacent structure, such as a muscle cell or another nerve ending. Various transmitter chemicals liberated into the synapse make nerve transmissions possible.

Syringomyelia The formation of a fluid-filled cavity (a syrinx) in an injured area of the spinal cord, which is a result of nerve fiber degradation and necrosis. It sometimes extends upward, extending also the neurological deficit. As a syrinx gets larger with in the spinal cord, the surrounding nerve fibers are compressed and blood flow is restricted. The fluid buildup seen in syringomyelia may be a result of spinal cord trauma, tumors of the spinal cord, or birth defects (specifically, "chiari malformation," in which part of the brain pushes down onto the spinal cord at the base of the skull). The fluid-filled cavity usually begins in the neck area. It expands slowly, putting pressure on the spinal cord and slowly causing damage.

Tetraplegia – See Quadriplegia

Thoracic Pertaining to the chest, vertebrae or spinal cord segments between the cervical and lumbar areas.

Thrombophlebitis A clot in a vein due to diminished blood flow which can occur in a paralyzed leg. Symptoms include swelling and redness.

Tracheostomy or Tracheotomy Opening in the trachea, or windpipe, to insert a tube that protects the airway and allows secretions to be removed from the lungs.

Transverse Myelitis ransverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation across both sides of one level, or segment, of the spinal cord. The term myelitis refers to inflammation of the spinal cord; transverse simply describes the position of the inflammation, that is, across the width of the spinal cord. Attacks of inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibers. This damage causes nervous system scars that interrupt communications between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Bacterial invasion of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, bladder neck, and urethra. Symptoms of UTI may include urine that is cloudy, contains sediment, and has a foul smell. A fever may also be present.

Ventilator Mechanical device to facilitate breathing in persons with impaired diaphragm function.

Vertebrae The bones that form the spinal column. In humans there are 33 vertebrae: 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral (fused into one), 4 cocygeal (fused into one). Vertebra (singular). Vertebrae (plural).

Vital Signs Include blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature.

QUICK LINKS

Return to top of page

Copyright © 2023 United Spinal Association 120-34 Queens Blvd, Suite 330 | Kew Gardens, NY 11415 | 718-803-3782 Contact Us | Privacy Policy

close android install prompt

1. Download the Taber's Online app by Unbound Medicine

2. Log in using your existing username and password to start your free, 30-day trial of the app

3. After 30 days, you will automatically be upgraded to a 1-year subscription at a discounted rate of $29.95

Google Play

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

excursion medical dictionary

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.

2. Select Try/Buy and follow instructions to begin your free 30-day trial

iOS badge

We're glad you have enjoyed Taber's Online! As a thank-you for using our site, here's a discounted rate for renewal or upgrade.

Mobile + Web Renewal

1 Year Subscription

Consult Taber’s anywhere you go with web access + our easy-to-use mobile app.

Nursing Central

Nursing Central combines Taber’s with a medical dictionary, disease manual, lab guide, and useful tools.

Not now - I'd like more time to decide

Want to regain access to Taber's Online?

Renew my subscription

Log in to Taber's Online

Forgot your password, forgot your username, contact support.

  • unboundmedicine.com/support
  • [email protected]
  • 610-627-9090 (Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM EST.)

Purchase Taber's Online

  • TheFreeDictionary
  • Word / Article
  • Starts with
  • Free toolbar & extensions
  • Word of the Day
  • Free content

ex·cur·sion

Ex•cur•sion.

A journey is the process of travelling from one place to another by land, air, or sea.

A trip is the process of travelling from one place to another, staying there, usually for a short time, and coming back again.

A voyage is a long journey from one place to another in a ship or spacecraft.

An excursion is a short trip made either as a tourist or in order to do a particular thing.

You make or go on a journey.

You take or go on a trip.

You make a voyage.

You go on an excursion.

Be Careful! Don't use 'do' with any of these words. Don't say, for example, ' We did a bus trip '.

  • alarums and excursions
  • Are there any boat trips on the river?
  • ballistic capsule
  • bewildering
  • boisterousness
  • charge per unit
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • conducted tour
  • excretion disk
  • excretory organ
  • excretory product
  • Excruciable
  • excruciating
  • excruciatingly
  • excruciation
  • Excubitorium
  • exculpation
  • exculpatory
  • excursion rate
  • excursion ticket
  • excursion train
  • excursionism
  • excursionist
  • excursionize
  • Excuse me, that's my seat
  • Excuse me, which bus goes to ...?
  • exculpatedly
  • exculpating
  • exculpations
  • exculpatorily
  • exculpatory clause
  • Exculpatory evidence
  • Excuria Recovery Services, LLC
  • Excursion Inlet Seaplane Base
  • Excursion Limit
  • Excursion liner
  • Excursion Maximum
  • Excursion of Suspension
  • excursion steamer
  • Excursion train
  • Excursion trains
  • excursionise
  • excursionists
  • Excursions Maritimes Tropéziennes
  • excursively
  • excursiveness
  • Facebook Share

Equal excursion

What does "Equal excursion" mean in a report or doctor's letter? In our medical dictionary, you will find a patient-friendly explanation of the meaning of this medical term.

Explanation

Equal excursion is a term used in medicine to describe the equal movement of both sides of the chest when a person breathes. This means that when a person inhales or exhales, both sides of their chest should move out or in at the same time and to the same extent. If one side of the chest moves less than the other, it could indicate a problem with the lungs or the muscles involved in breathing.

excursion medical dictionary

Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Lukas A. Huber

excursion medical dictionary

Confusing Medical Report?

BaluMed makes medicine understandable! Our extensive medical report explanation 'translates' complex medical terms from MRI findings and discharge summaries into easily understandable language. With a combination of artificial intelligence and medical expertise, we offer quickly available and reliable information.

  • Extensive . Summary, explanation per section, glossary.
  • Fast & Reliable . Doctor-reviewed, receive today.
  • Privacy . Documents are automatically anonymized.
  • Multilingual . English or German.

Definition of 'excursion'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

excursion in British English

Excursion in american english, examples of 'excursion' in a sentence excursion, cobuild collocations excursion, trends of excursion.

View usage for: All Years Last 10 years Last 50 years Last 100 years Last 300 years

In other languages excursion

  • American English : excursion / ɪkˈskɜrʒən /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : excursão
  • Chinese : 短途旅行
  • European Spanish : excursión
  • French : excursion
  • German : Ausflug
  • Italian : escursione
  • Japanese : 小旅行
  • Korean : 짧은 여행
  • European Portuguese : excursão
  • Latin American Spanish : excursión
  • Thai : การเที่ยวพักผ่อนหย่อนใจ, การเที่ยวช่วงสั้นๆ

Browse alphabetically excursion

  • exculpatory
  • excursion ticket
  • excursion train
  • excursionise
  • All ENGLISH words that begin with 'E'

Related terms of excursion

  • boat excursion
  • shore excursion
  • fishing excursion
  • View more related words

Tile

Wordle Helper

Tile

Scrabble Tools

Quick word challenge

Quiz Review

Score: 0 / 5

One Stop MedEX LLC Logo

Quick, safe, and dependable for your health transportation needs.

Your health should not be compromised or delayed. A physically or health challenged individual who requires transportation to a medical appointment or any other important engagement should be provided with a safe, comfortable, and convenient ride to his or her destination. Here at One-Stop MedEx , we offer you all that and more! Don’t hesitate to start your experience with us today!

One-Stop MedEx

We are a reputable non-emergent medical transport provider that offers safe, reliable, and affordable services to all our clients. We see to it that the individuals we serve are provided a secure and convenient conveyance to their destinations whether it be a doctor’s appointment or any other important engagement. On top of that, we also have a stellar pool of Patient Care Coordinators, Social Workers, Adjusters, Discharge Planners, and Case Managers who deliver compassionate and quality services with professionalism and respect.

Our Mission Statement

One-Stop MedEx strives to establish a top-notch, yet affordable non-emergent medical transport business that provides transportation solutions and quality care services to our clients throughout Northern California. It is our goal to make sure that our clients are well taken care of and secure while on the road.

request a quote

Request A QUOTE

Want to know how much a trip would cost? Request for an estimate today!

make a reservation

Make A RESERVATION

In need of our exceptional non-emergent medical transportation services? Make a reservation and start your experience as early as possible!

refer a client

Refer A CLIENT

Your referrals are important to us. If you know people in need of our services, feel free to connect us to them today.

OUR SERVICES

a patient was discharge from the hospital

Hospital Discharges

patient with his son

Long Distance Trips

patient in the vehicle

Doctor Appointments

medical transportation

Door to Door Service

Our experienced and compassionate staff will not only get you where you need to be, but keep you safe, comfortable, and at ease while on the road.

IMAGES

  1. Definition & Meaning of "Excursion"

    excursion medical dictionary

  2. excursion

    excursion medical dictionary

  3. The Australian Medical Dictionary

    excursion medical dictionary

  4. AU Excursion Medical Information and Consent Form

    excursion medical dictionary

  5. Excursion stock image. Image of meaning, macro, isolated

    excursion medical dictionary

  6. MatthewsBooks.com

    excursion medical dictionary

VIDEO

  1. The Official Guide to Excursion to south ural state medical university|| New first course students

  2. Mini vlog: Darjeeling trip by Medical students. #mbbslife #neetmotivation #westbengal

  3. CAJUN MEDICAL DICTIONARY.wmv

  4. Medical Dictionary offline in hindi|Android offline medical Dictionary in hindi|android medical app

  5. Ambulance 284 + EMS Supervisor 902 FDNY

  6. Outing Meaning

COMMENTS

  1. Excursion

    excursion. [ ek-skur´zhun] a range of movement regularly repeated in performance of a function, e.g., excursion of the jaws in mastication. adj., adj excur´sive. lateral excursion sideward movement of the mandible between the position of closure and the position in which cusps of opposing teeth are in vertical proximity.

  2. Medical Dictionary

    Medical Dictionary. Search medical terms and abbreviations with the most up-to-date and comprehensive medical dictionary from the reference experts at Merriam-Webster. Master today's medical vocabulary. Become an informed health-care consumer!

  3. Outdoor excursion

    excursion. [ ek-skur´zhun] a range of movement regularly repeated in performance of a function, e.g., excursion of the jaws in mastication. adj., adj excur´sive. lateral excursion sideward movement of the mandible between the position of closure and the position in which cusps of opposing teeth are in vertical proximity.

  4. Diaphragmatic excursion

    diaphragmatic excursion: In respiration, the movement of the diaphragm from its level during full exhalation to its level during full inhalation. Normal diaphragmatic excursion is 5 to 7 cm bilaterally in adults. It may be seen during fluoroscopic or ultrasonographic examinations of the chest, or percussed during physical examination of the ...

  5. Excursion Definition & Meaning

    excursion: [noun] a going out or forth : expedition. a usually brief pleasure trip. a trip at special reduced rates.

  6. excursion

    excursion. (ek-skŭr′zhŏn) To hear audio pronunciation of this topic, purchase a subscription or log in. [L. excursio, a running out, attack] 1. Wandering from the usual course. 2. The extent of movement of a part such as the extremities or eyes. 3.

  7. OpenMD Medical Dictionary

    OpenMD's medical dictionary aggregates definitions from leading medical institutions and includes illustrations, phonetic pronunciations, and related terms.

  8. excursion

    excursion. 1. Wandering from the usual course. 2. The extent of movement of a part such as the extremities or eyes. 3. In diabetes, an increase in blood glucose levels above normal or typical values, esp. after a meal. There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers. excursion answers are found in the Taber's ...

  9. Ultrasound utilization in the diagnosis of diaphragm dysfunction

    Normal diaphragmatic excursion is 5-6 cm. Diminished diaphragmatic excursion is often associated with weakness of diaphragm or its paralysis.[7,11] Laboratory investigations of arterial/venous blood gases (BG's) measure dissolved gases in and other properties of blood (pH, pCO 2, pO 2, base excess, O 2 saturation, etc.) and are most often ...

  10. Medical Terms and Definitions

    A muscle that encircles a duct, tube, or orifice. Spinal Shock. The body's initial response to SCI, which lasts 3-4 weeks and causes immediate flaccid paralysis, in which the muscles are soft or weak. Similar to a concussion in the brain, spinal shock causes the system to shut down.

  11. excursion

    excursion - WordReference English dictionary, questions, discussion and forums. All Free. WordReference.com | ... excursion / ɪkˈskɜːʃən-ʒən / n. a short outward and return journey, esp for relaxation, sightseeing, etc; outing; a group of people going on such a journey

  12. excursion

    excursion answers are found in the Taber's Medical Dictionary powered by Unbound Medicine. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Web.

  13. Excursion

    Define excursion. excursion synonyms, excursion pronunciation, excursion translation, English dictionary definition of excursion. n. 1. A usually short journey made for pleasure; an outing. 2. A roundtrip in a passenger vehicle at a special low fare. ... Medical Dictionary; Legal Dictionary. Financial Dictionary. Acronyms; Idioms; Encyclopedia ...

  14. Medical Dictionary

    Medical Dictionary is intended for use by healthcare consumers, students, and professionals as well as anyone who wants to keep up with the burgeoning array of terminology found in today's medical news. By staying clear of jargon, the dictionary offers fast and concise information, whether the user is searching for a description of an over-the-counter or prescription medication, a medical ...

  15. Equal excursion

    In our medical dictionary, you will find a patient-friendly explanation of the meaning of this medical term. Updated on: 02/28/2024, 03:57 PM. Explanation. Equal excursion is a term used in medicine to describe the equal movement of both sides of the chest when a person breathes. This means that when a person inhales or exhales, both sides of ...

  16. EXCURSION definition and meaning

    8 meanings: 1. a short outward and return journey, esp for relaxation, sightseeing, etc; outing 2. a group of people going on.... Click for more definitions.

  17. Definitions of excursion

    excursion. ) noun: A brief recreational trip; a journey out of the usual way. noun: A wandering from the main subject: a digression. noun: (aviation) An occurrence where an aircraft runs off the end or side of a runway or taxiway, usually during takeoff, landing, or taxi. noun: (phonetics) A deviation in pitch, for example in the syllables of ...

  18. Find Local Help with Medi-Cal

    Get Medi-Cal. Apply for Medi-Cal. Coverage for All. Pregnancy. Asset Limits. Find Local Help. Keep Your Medi-Cal. En Español.

  19. CalOMS Treatment

    The California Outcomes Measurement System Treatment (CalOMS Tx) is California's data collection and reporting system for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services. Data collected facilitates improvements in treatment services delivered to those in need. This data collection is key to ensuring quality improvements that positively affect ...

  20. Lateral excursion

    lateral excursion: [ ek-skur´zhun ] a range of movement regularly repeated in performance of a function, e.g., excursion of the jaws in mastication. adj., adj excur´sive. lateral excursion sideward movement of the mandible between the position of closure and the position in which cusps of opposing teeth are in vertical proximity.

  21. One-Stop MedEx

    One-Stop MedEx provides Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in Newark, California. Please call 510-500-4487 for more reservations. Home ; About Us ; Services ; Vehicles ; Careers ; Contact Us ; Quick, safe, and dependable for your health transportation needs. Your health should not be compromised or delayed. ...

  22. Get Medi-Cal

    NEW eligibility expansions for 2024: Adults ages 26 - 49 that meet eligibility requirements can now enroll for Medi-Cal coverage regardless of their immigration status. Assets will no longer be considered when determining someone's eligibility for Medi-Cal. Assets include a car, house, bank accounts, and more. Income limits still apply.

  23. Protrusive excursion

    protrusive excursion: movement of the mandible to a position forward of the centric position.

  24. PDF STATE OF CALIFORNIA COMMISSION ON EMS March 13, 2024 Embassy Suites by

    service lower-level medical complaints to help keep the larger emergency room area clear. Commissioner Morgan stated concern that the California Medical Assistance Team (CAL-MAT) was unavailable since it was three days before Christmas. She noted that dates are unimportant in disaster situations. She asked for further detail on the scope of