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Glossary - T

 

tai chi:  An exercise-based treatment for general body health or treatment of pain.

 

tarsal tunnel syndrome:  Pain in the foot due to entrapment of the tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel - a space in the medial aspect of the ankle that carries the tibial nerve into the foot.

 

tethered cord:  A developmental embryological abnormality in which the spinal cord remains attached abnormally to the sacrum and does not ascend to the L1 or L2 level during the course of growth but remains trapped and under tension in the low lumbar spine.

 

thermistor:  Temperature monitor used in the radiofrequency lesioning system to control the temperature of the tip of the radiofrequency probe.

 

thoracic outlet syndrome:  Pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands due to nerve entrapments affecting the brachial plexus.

 

thoracic spine:  The rib-bearing  portion of the spine between the cervical and the lumbar regions.

 

thoracostomy tube (or chest tube):  A catheter or drain placed in the pleural space of the lung to help reinflate a collapsed lung.

 

thoracotomy:  A surgery in which the chest is opened by making an incision between the ribs.  This is used in order to gain access to the thoracic spine in some surgeries.

 

tibia:  The major leg bone between the knee and ankle.

 

tissue glue:  A biological adhesive or sealing material made from natural human blood proteins that are normally involved in clotting.

 

titanium:  An element or type of metal that is nonmagnetic and hence compatible with MRI scanning and is the major component of many alloys used for surgical implants.

 

tolerance:  The requirement of the body for higher and higher doses of narcotic medication in order to achieve the same amount of pain relief.

 

topical:  Medication for application directly to the skin.

 

torques:  Twisting forces applied, such as to the body or spine.

 

trachea:  The tube between the mouth and lungs that carries the air that we breathe.

 

traction:  The application of tension or pulling to the spine.

 

transabdominal:  A surgical approach that goes through the abdomen.

 

transarticular:  A type of screw or instrumentation that crosses between the facet surface to attempt to prevent movement across the joint that it crosses.

 

transaxillary:  A surgical approach through the axilla, or underarm.

 

transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS):  A device used for pain treatment in which pulsing electrical currents are applied to the skin to provide a distracting stimulus, making pain more tolerable.

 

transforaminal epidural:  A type of injection in which the needle is passed through the neural foramen to apply a steroid and/or anesthetic medication.  This provides treatment to an individual selected spinal nerve, as well as to the general spinal dura nearby.

 

transfusion:  The administration of blood products to replace lost blood.

 

transorally:  A surgical approach carried out through the back of the mouth to reach the dens or other portions of the C1 or C2 vertebra.

 

transpedicular:  A surgical approach carried out through and inside the pedicle of a thoracic vertebra to reach a thoracic disc without requiring retraction of the spinal cord.

 

triplicate prescription:  A specialized type of medical prescription used for controlled-substance narcotics and are closely monitored by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).  These must be delivered to the pharmacist within 14 days of being written, are not subject to refills, and cannot be faxed or called in to a pharmacy. These are being phased out or replaced with alternate technology in many states.

 

trophins:  Natural compounds or proteins that promote growth of tissue, such as nerve tissue.

 

tubular retractor:  A surgical device that provides a fixed access or view through the body tissues for use by a surgeon during a procedure.

 

tumors:  Abnormal growth of tissues.