Abduct – To move away from the body.
Acromioclavicular Dislocation – Disruption of shoulder ligaments of the normal joint between the acromion and the clavicle.
Adduct – To move toward the body.
Anesthesia (local) – Anesthesia confined to one part of the body.
Anesthetic (epidural) – An anesthetic injected in the fluid-filled sac (the dura) around the spine, which partially numbs the abdomen and legs.
Ankle Sprain – Stretching and slight or partial tearing of one or more ligaments in the ankle.
Ankylosis – Fusion of bones across a joint.
Anterior – The front or forward facing direction. (Your mouth is on the anterior portion of your skull.)
Antibiotic – A chemical substance produced by a microorganism which has the capacity, in dilute solutions, to inhibit the growth of or to kill infectious germs.
Anti-inflammatory – something which decreases inflammation or swelling (e.g., ice, aspirin).
Anti-inflammatory Agent (non-steroidal) – Anti-inflammatory agents that are not steroids.They have painkiller and fever reducing actions.
Anti-inflammatory Agent (steroidal) – Agents capable of suppressing or counteracting the inflammatory process by acting on body mechanisms. They are used primarily in the treatment of chronic arthritic conditions and certain soft tissue disorders associated with pain and inflammation.
Arthralgia – Pain in a joint.
Arthritis – An inflammatory condition that affects joints. (e.g., rheumatism or gout).
Arthrocentesis – A procedure where by a needle in introduced into a joint space for the purpose of removing joint fluid. This procedure can also be therapeutic if an anesthetic or corticosteroid medication is injected into the joint during the procedure.
Arthrodesis – The surgical immobilization of a joint (joint fusion).
Arthropathy – Any disease that affects joints.
Arthroplasty – Partial or total replacement of a joint with artificial components.
Arthroscopic Knee Repair – A fiber optic procedure, used in the surgical repair of any of several knee ligaments including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or of the knee cartilages (meniscus). Arthroscopy – Looking inside the joint with a small, lighted telescope.
Arthrotomy – A surgical incision into a joint.
Aseptic Necrosis – Condition in which poor blood supply to an area of bone leads to bone death. Also called avascular necrosis and osteonecrosis.
Back Pain, Low – Symptoms in the low back can relate to the bony portion of the spine, to discs between the vertebrae, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, or even internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen. The low back, or lumbar area, functions in structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissue.
Baker’s Cyst – A cyst or pouch that occurs behind the knee, in the synovial lining of the knee. Synovial fluid escapes from the knee joint and into the cyst in people who suffer from degenerative and other joint disease. Aspiration of the cyst is therapeutic only temporarily since recurrence is common. Larger cysts can be removed surgically.
Benign – Something that does not metastize. Treatment or removal is curative.
Bennett’s Fracture – A fracture-dislocation of the thumb.
Biopsy – Procedure that involves obtaining a tissue specimen for microscopic analysis to establish a precise diagnosis. Biopsies can be accomplished with a biopsy needle (passed through the skin into the organ in question) or by open surgical incision.
Bone Banks – Centers for acquiring, characterizing, and storing bones or bone tissue for future use.
Bone Cements – Adhesives used to fix prosthetic devices to bones and to cement bone to bone in difficult fractures.
Bone Marrow – The soft, spongy tissue found in the center of most large bones that produces the cellular components of blood: white cells, red cells and platelets (hemopoiesis). It is also the most radiation sensitive tissue of the body.
Bone – The hard, calcified tissue of the skeleton of vertebrate animals.
Bulging Disc – A condition that results in the abnormal protrusion (bulging, herniation) of a vertebral disc from its normal position. The displaced disc may exert force on a nearby nerve root causing the typical neurological symptoms of radiating pain (to an extremity), numbness, tingling and weakness. Recurrent episodes of severe back pain are common.
Bursa – A bursa is a closed fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.
Bursectomy – Surgical drainage and removal of an infected bursa.
Calcaneal Spur – A heel spur. A bony growth off of the heel often resulting in recurrent pain.
Carpal Tunnel Release – An orthopedic surgical procedure, which relieves the pressure exerted on the median nerve within the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This surgery may be performed conventionally via a small incision or using a fiber optic scope (endoscopic carpal tunnel repair).
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – A nerve disorder in the hand that causes pain and loss of feeling.
Cartilage – Connective tissue containing collagen type II and large amounts of proteoglycan, particularly chondroitin sulphate. Cartilage is more flexible and compressible than bone; it covers the articular surfaces (bone ends).
Cervical – Pertaining to the neck or to the neck of any organ or structure.
Cervical Spine – Neck area of the spine.
Chondromalacia – The progressive erosion of cartilage, common in the knee joint where it is known as chondromalacia patella.
Coccydynia – Pain in the coccyx (tailbone).
Collateral Ligaments – A number of ligaments on either side of a joint having a hinge like movement. They occur at the elbow, knee, wrist, hands and feet.
Colles Fracture – A common fracture of the wrist joint due to a fall on an outstretched hand. Colles fracture is also referred to as the silver fork deformity.
Compartment Syndrome – Build up of pressure in muscles, secondary to injury.
Compression Fracture – A spinal fracture, more specifically of a vertebral body. Compression fractions result in a loss of HEIGHT of the vertebral body on X-ray. May occur in any region of the spine. Commonly in post-menopausal women who are subject to osteoporosis.
Contracture – A condition of fixed high resistance to passive stretch of a muscle, resulting from fibrosis of the tissues supporting the muscles or the joints, or from disorders of the muscle fibers.
Contusion – A bruise, an injury of a body part without a break in the skin.
Cramp – A painful, involuntary, spasmodic muscle contraction.
Cramp, Writer’s – A dystonia (painful contracture) that affects the muscles of the hand and sometimes the forearm and only occurs during handwriting. Similar focal dystonias have also been called typist’s cramp, pianist’s cramp, musician’s cramp, and golfer’s cramp.
Cruciate – A cross or "X" shape. There are two cruciate ligaments in the human knee.
Cruciate (anterior) – One the most commonly injured ligaments which stabilizes the knee joint. The cruciate ligaments are cross-shaped within the knee joint. The posterior cruciate is deeper (more posterior) within the joint and not as commonly injured as the anterior cruciate.
Debridement – A term of French origin for the removal of dead, infected or foreign material from a wound.
Deep Venous Thrombosis – A blood clot that forms in a vein resulting in obstruction of venous flow. Most common in the lower extremities.
Degenerative Joint Disease – A form of arthritis that results in the destruction of the articular cartilage that line the joints. Seen predominately in the larger weight bearing joints of the hips, knees and spine, be seen in the small joints of the hands.
Disc – Material between spinal vertebrae that provide a cushion-like support against shock.
Dislocate – To put out of place, out of joint or out of position.
Dorsiflexion – To bend the toes toward the head.
Dupuytren’s Contracture – A painless thickening of the connective tissue in the palmar hand that can lead to difficulty extending the digits. Causes include hand trauma and genetic predisposition.
Ecchymosis – Internal bruising or bleeding which causes our skin to turn "black and blue."
Edema – Swelling of tissues as a result of disease or injury.
Etiology – Cause of a disease.
Extend – To straighten.
Extension – The movement by which the two elements of any jointed part is drawn away from each other.
Femur – The largest bone in the body, extending from the hip to the knee (thigh bone).
Fixation – The act or operation of holding, suturing or fastening in a fixed position. The condition of being held in a fixed position.
Flex – To bend.
Fracture – A break or rupture in the bone.
Frozen Shoulder – This disorder results from any conditions that enforce prolonged immobility of the shoulder joint. There is marked restriction of range of motion. Physical therapy and corticosteroid injections may be helpful in some cases. Surgery will be required for more advanced cases.
Glenoid – The portion of the scapula (shoulder blade) that forms the cup segment of the shoulder joint.
Golfer’s Elbow – Inflammation of the tendons, which insert at the medical epicondyle (of the humerus) at the elbow. Symptoms include pain with forced flexion of the wrist joint.
Hallux Valgus – A swelling or deformity at the head of the proximal bone of the great toe (big toe).
Hemorrhage – To bleed.
Herniate – To protrude through an abnormal body opening (outside normal margins).
Hip Arthroplasty – Surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with an artificial device that re-establishes normal hip joint motion. Indicated in cases of severe intractable degenerative arthritis.
Hip Fracture – A fracture of the hip commonly occurs in the neck of the femur (thigh bone). The elderly and those who suffer from osteoporosis are at greatest risk.
Hypercoaguable – State describing abnormally thick blood.
Hypertrophy – Tissue or organ enlargement.
Knee Arthroplasty – Surgery involving the replacement of the knee joint with artificial components, which reestablishes normal joint function. Indicated in cases of knee fracture or degenerative arthritis (DJD) unresponsive to medical therapy.
Knee Sprain – Any injury to the different ligaments, which stabilize the knee joint. Knee sprains are characterized by knee pain, swelling and tenderness with range of motion. Completely torn ligaments may require surgical repair to reestablish knee joint stability.
Lateral – The outside (away from) portion of our body parts. Your ear is lateral to your nose.
Ligament – Fibrous tissue that attaches bone to bone.
Malignant – Tending to become progressively worse and to result in death. Having the properties of multiplying, invasion and metastasis, said of tumors.
Medial – Toward the inside or center of the body. (Your big toe is medial to your small toe.)
Medial Collateral Sprain (MCL) – MCL injuries are classified as grades I-III. Grade I injuries appear normal in an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), but there is subcutaneous tissue swelling (edema). Grade III injuries indicate a complete disruption of the ligament with associated soft tissue swelling (edema), and hemorrhage.
Medical Collateral Ligament – A ligament connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone on the inner side of your knee.
Meniscus – A "C" shaped cartilage in the knee which provides a stabilization system for the knee and a measure of shock absorption.
Muscle – Body tissues which consist of cells that contract when lengthened or straightened.
Myozitis – Inflammation of the muscle.
Nerve – One or more fibers or bundles of fibers which form a part of a system in the body that conveys impulses of sensation, motion, etc., between the spinal cord or brain and other body parts.
Nerve Root – Where a group of nerves exit from the spinal canal.
Orthopedic (or Orthopaedic) – The branch of medicine, which studies, muscles, bones, and related soft tissues.
Ossification – The formation of bone, the transformation of fibrous tissue or of cartilage into a bony substance.
Osteoarthropathy – A condition that describes the broadening or thickening of the tips of the fingers (and toes). Often this finding on physical examination can be quite subtle and easily overlooked. Clubbing may be seen in a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions – most of them associated with a decrease in blood oxygen.
Osteophytes – Abnormal projections of bone.
Palpate – To touch, or feel.
Periostitis – Inflammation of the fibrous covering (outer layer) of a bone.
Physical Therapy – The treatment of disease or injury through physical or mechanical means including, but not limited to: ice, heat, massage, ultrasound and exercise.
Pivot – To turn.
Pronate – To turn, facing downward.
Radiate – To travel outward from a point. "The pain radiates from my neck to my elbow."
Retinaculum – Connective tissue similar to a ligament, but more expansive – e.g. around the kneecaps.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – Chronic inflammatory disease with destruction of joints. Considered by some to be an autoimmune disorder in which immune complexes formed in joints excite an inflammatory response towards own tissues.
Rotator Cuff – The group of muscles which comprise the shoulder.
Runners’ Condition – A condition where the kneecap (patella) rubs on the surface of the femur rather than following its normal tracking over the knee joint. This condition is due to stress or overuse. Symptoms include knee pain, just under the kneecap after running, progressing to knee pain at rest. Treatment includes rest and stretching exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
Strain – To wear out beyond a normal limit, often causing micro or tiny tears.
Subluxation – To partially dislocate.
Supinate – To turn, facing upward. (When you collect change at the tollbooth, you supinate your palm.)
Surgery – The branch of medicine where physical deformity or disease is treated by an operative procedure.
Suture – Usually a synthetic based line that is minimally reactive in biological tissue. Commonly used are nylon, prolene and gut. Absorbable suture will dissolve over time (vicryl and chromic).
Syndrome – A set of symptoms that characterize a disorder or disease.
Synovial Membrane – A thin tissue that lines the capsule surrounding the joint.
Synovitis – Inflammation of a synovial membrane. It is usually painful, particularly on motion and is characterized by a fluctuating swelling due to effusion within a synovial sac.
Tendonitis (or Tendinitis) – An inflammation (swelling) of the tendon.
Tendon – Fibrous tissue, which connects muscle to bone.
Tennis Elbow – Inflammation at the lateral epicondyle (bony process of the humerus) of the elbow and the tendons insertions. It has earned this name because of the common occurrence in tennis players (constant dorsiflexion of the wrist.)
Varus – An abnormal position in which part of a limb is twisted inward, toward the midline (opposite of valgus).
Vasculitis – Inflammation of the blood vessel walls.
Weight Bearing – Ability to tolerate carrying your weight on your feet while walking.