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Glossary of terms

A

Abduction
Movement of a part away from the midline, e.g. abduction at the shoulder moves the arm away from the trunk and out to the side. At the thumb, it describes movement of the digit forward from the anatomical position, away from the palm.
Achilles tendonitis
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tough tendon allows the calf muscle attaching to the heel bone to create ‘push off’ when walking or running.
ACL
Anterior cruciate ligament.
Adduction
Movement of a part towards the midline, e. g. adduction at the hip joint moves the leg toward the midline and adduction of both legs would press the knees together or cross the legs.
ALIF
see Lumbar interbody fusion.
Allodynia
Pain from stimuli that are not normally painful, or pain that occurs other than in the area stimulated.
Algodystrophy
See Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Complex regional pain syndrome.
Ankylosing spondylitis
A type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Chronic inflammation in these areas causes pain and stiffness in and around the spine. Over time, chronic spinal inflammation (spondylitis) can lead to a complete cementing together (fusion) of the vertebrae, a process called ankylosis. Ankylosis causes total loss of mobility of the spine.
Ankylosis
Fusion of a joint by bone or a tight fibrous union, occurring as a result of a disease process, e.g. following septic arthritis (pyarthrosis), in ankylosing spondylitis, healed tuberculosis of bone etc.
Antalgic
Literally against pain. Used to describe an alteration of gait, where the stance phase one one side is abruptly shortened to avoid weight-bearing pain in that leg.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
A ligament within the knee that ‘crosses’ from the femur (the thigh bone) to the centre of the tibia (the shin). Prone to injury whilst skiing, playing football, basketball and netball, and can be quite serious, requiring surgery.
Antibiotic
Any drug, such as penicillin, produced by certain fungi, bacteria, and other organisms, which can inhibit the growth of (bacteriostatic), or destroy (bactericidal), micro-organisms. They are used for the prevention, or treatment, of infections.
Arthritis
Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain.
Arthrodesis
A procedure where two or more bones are joined together (fusion). Done to relieve pain, usually in the ankles, wrists, fingers, and thumbs. The two bones forming a joint are joined together so that the resulting fused joint loses flexibility, but is more stable, and is therefore less painful.
Arthrogram
An x-ray to view a joint following an injection of a contrast (dye) fluid. The joint surfaces can be seen clearly as can loose bodies within the joint and any leak would provide evidence of a tear, opening, or blockage.
Arthroscopy
A surgical technique whereby a camera on the end of a viewing rod (scope), and special instruments are inserted into a joint to inspect, diagnose and repair tissues. It is most commonly performed in the the knees or shoulder joints but can be used in the hip joint and small joints of the wrists, hands , ankle and feet.
Arthroplasty
Surgery of a joint or joints to restore motion. Commonly ‘Joint replacement’ surgery, but also can be surgery to refashion the joint using locally available tissue.
Atrophy
Wasting away or diminution. Muscle atrophy is decrease in muscle mass.
Avascular necrosis
Bone which has been deprived of its blood supply dies. In the absence of sepsis, this is called avascular necrosis.
Avulsion
Tearing away. A piece of bone, tendon or nerve nerve can be avulsed by an injury.

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B

Bankart lesion
Avulsion of the fibrous lip of the shoulder joint called the anterior glenoid labrum and is usually associated with anterior shoulder dislocations.
Bennett’s fracture
A fracture dislocation of the thumb metacarpal.
Biopsy
The surgical removal of a piece of tissue for histological or microbiological examination, usually undertaken to establish a diagnosis.
Bone cysts
A sac containing liquid or semisolid material on a bone, often associated with an arthritic joint or a consequence of how bones develop. Sometimes more serious and cancer needs to be excluded from the diagnosis.
Bone Graft
Bone removed from one skeletal site and placed at another. Bone grafts are used to stimulate bone union and also to restore skeletal continuity where there has been bone loss.
Bunion
A bunion is a localized painful swelling at the base of the big toe. The joint is enlarged (due to new bone formation) and the toe is often misaligned. It is frequently associated with inflammation especially of the nearby bursa (bursitis).
Bursa
A closed fluid-filled sac that functions to provide a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.
Bursitis
Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa.

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C

Callus
Callus formation is the response of living bone to any irritation. Callus is a tissue complex formed at a site of bony repair. Fracture healing tissue makes a gradual and progressive transition through a series of tissue types
Carpal tunnel syndrome
A condition that results in pain, pins and needles, numbness, and weakness and clumsiness of the hand as a result of pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Should affect some fingers more than others but can lead to whole hand pain.
Cartilage
Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. Occasionally there term is also used to describe the structure that gets damaged in the knee and some other joints that is more correctly termed a ‘meniscus’.
Cast
A protective shell of plaster and bandage molded to protect a broken or fractured limb as it heals. Often used to rest a limb after hand or foot surgery.
Causalgia
See Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Chondromalacia
Abnormal softening or degeneration of cartilage.
Clubfoot
A common malformation of the foot that is evident at birth. The foot is turned in and the person seems to be walking on their ankle. The medical term for the common ("classic") type of clubfoot is talipes equinovarus.
Comminuted Fracture
A fracture in which bone is broken, splintered or crushed into a number of pieces. May imply a degree of increased severity, but sometimes comminuted fractures heal quickly and without problem.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a disorder of unknown pathophysiology, which can affect either the upper or lower limbs. This disabling syndrome is not related to a single nerve territory and is disproportionate to the initiating event. The most prominent features include burning pain and functional impairment of the affected limb. Only 1 in 5 patients returns to a normal level of function. Previously CRPS Type I was known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and CRPS type II was known as Causalgia.
Compound Fracture
A fracture in which the bone is sticking through the skin. Also called an open fracture.
Continuous Passive Motion
See C.P.M.
C.P.M. – Continuous Passive Motion
The use of powered apparatus to move a joint through a controlled range of motion has been shown to enhance articular cartilage healing after joint injury and to promoted soft tissue recovery after surgery. The indiscriminate use of CPM machines for prolonged periods for other indications can lead to muscle wasting and should be combined with other techniques of physical therapy.
Congenital
Present at birth.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
See Ulna neuritis.
CT scan (Computed tomography scan)
A computer that takes the data from multiple X-ray images and turns them into pictures on a screen. The CT scan can reveal some soft-tissue and other structures that cannot even be seen in conventional X-rays.

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D

Decompression
A procedure to remove pressure on a structure, as in decompression of the spinal cord, or carpal tunnel.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Deterioration of the structural properties of the disk space leading to narrowing of the joint and compensatory bony changes either side and may result in nerve compression, pain and deformity.
De Quervains: a.k.a. ‘mother’s wrist’
A painful condition of the wrist (on the side of the thumb). There is a narrowing of a tunnel through which a couple of the tendons of the thumb pass, resulting in pain when lifting objects such as saucepans.
Desensitisation
Treatment of hypersensitivity and pain that has occurred secondary to nerve injury, partial nerve injury, nerve compression, and soft –tissue injuries.
Discectomy
The excision of intervertebral disk material that may be described as herniated, implying "bulging" or "ruptured" through the constraints that it is usually contained within.
Dislocation
Displacement of one or more bones at a joint.
Dorsal
Relating to the back or posterior of a structure. Some of the dorsal surfaces of the body are the back, buttocks, calves, and the knuckle side of the hand.
Dorsiflexion
Bending toward the dorsal aspect, as the wrist refers to lifting the wrist up into extension.
Dupuytren’s contracture
A localized formation of scar-like tissue in the palm of the hand. The scarring accumulates in a tissue called the fascia beneath the skin of the palm that normally covers the tendons (but not affecting) that allow the fingers to grip.
DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
Blood clots in the veins of the inner thigh or leg. In air travel, DVT is the "economy-class syndrome". Blood clots can break off (as emboli) and makes their way to the lung where they have the potential of causing respiratory distress and respiratory failure. Orthopaedic operations, on the lower limbs especially, are known to be associated with the development of DVTs

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E

Elbow Replacement
The elbow joints can be replaced either in part such as the radial head, or as part as an ‘elbow replacement’ where the radial head is either preserved or excised and the main ‘hinge’ is replaced. The usual reason for elbow replacement is rheumatoid arthritis or occasionally for complex elbow fractures.
Electromyogram (EMG)
A test used to record the electrical activity of muscles. When muscles are active, they produce an electrical current that is usually proportional to the level of muscle activity.
Extension
The process of straightening or the state of being straight. Also refers to the term ‘Dorsiflexion’.
External fixation
A procedure that stabilizes and joins the ends of fractured (broken) bones by a splint or cast.

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F

Femur
The femur is the bone in the leg that extends from the hip to the knee.
Fibromyalgia
A syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation.
Fibula
The lateral (outside) and smaller of the two long bones in the lower leg between the knee and ankle.
Flatfoot
A foot in which the arch of the instep is flattened and the entire sole touches the ground. Historically people with flatfeet were given dispensation to avoid service in the army (for no good reason!)
Flexion
The process of bending or the state of being bent.
Fracture
A break in a bone.

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G

Ganglion cysts
Fluid-filled cysts commonly found as masses or lumps in the hand and usually found on the back of the wrist. Also found in the feet and even from large joints such as the knee or hip. Non cancerous.
Golfer’s Elbow
See Medial epicondylitis.
Greenstick Fracture
A fracture in which one side of a bone is broken while the other is bent.

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H

Hammer toe
A flexed (curled) but not abnormally rotated toe. May require surgical correction.
Healing
Restoration of original integrity. The healing process after a bone fracture lasts many years, until internal fracture remodeling subsides. For practical purposes, however, healing is considered to be complete when the bone has regained its normal stiffness and strength.
Herniated disc
Rupturing of the tissue that separates the vertebral bones of the spinal column. Often called a ‘prolapsed disc’ or a ‘slipped disc’. Can result in pain, or nerve irritation, leading to pain along the route of the nerve to the extremities.
Hill-Sachs lesion
Bony defect in the humeral head caused by a shoulder dislocation.
Hip Dysplasia
Failure of normal bony modeling of the hip socket.
Hip Replacement
Surgery in which the diseased ball and socket of the hip joint are completely removed (Total Hip Replacement, THR) and replaced with artificial materials. These may be cemented, un-cemented, a combination of either technique (hybrid and reverse-hybrid) and employ bearings made out of ‘plastic’, ceramic, and metal (soft and hard bearings).
Hip Resurfacing
A method of replacing the hip surfaces with preservation of the femoral neck (in contrast to a hip replacement) made popular recently by the ‘Birmingham Hip’. Not a new technique and subject to on-going research.
Humerus
The long bone in the arm that extends from the shoulder to the elbow.

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I

Inflammation
A basic way in which the body reacts to infection, irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain.
Internal fixation
A surgical procedure that stabilises and joins the ends of fractured (broken) bones by mechanical devices such as metal plates, pins, rods, wires or screws.
Impingement syndrome
Pain syndrome caused the rotator cuff muscle of the shoulder becoming inflamed, swollen and even ruptured, in association with a narrowing of the space through which the tendons pass (sub-acromial space). Results in difficulty in elevating the arm through a particular arc of motion.

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J

Joint
Where the ends of two or more bones meet. Normally allow a degree of motion determined by the shape of the joint and the muscles acting across the joint.

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K

Knee Replacement
A surgical procedure in which damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts. In the U.K. this usually is of the femoral and tibial surfaces only, but sometimes the patellar surface also (Total Knee Replacement, TKR). In a small number of cases partial knee replacements replacing one compartment (Uni-compartmental, and Patello-femoral) may be possible.
Kyphosis
Spinal deformity in which there is angulation forwards. Sharp angulation may result from abnormality of only one vertebral body, and is called a gibbus. A more gentle kyphosis is due to deformity involving several adjacent vertebrae, as in osteoporosis affecting the thoracic spine (“Dowager’s hump”)

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L

Lateral
The side of the body or a body part that is farther from the middle or center of the body.
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
A painful injury to the tendon that is attached to the outer part of the elbow, due to repetitive twisting of the wrist or forearm which causes irritation and trauma of the extensor tendon at its origin.
Ligaments
A ligament is a tough band of connective tissue that connects the bones and keeps joints stable.
Lumbar
Pertaining to the part of the back which extends from the lowest ribs down to the upper border of the pelvis.
Lumbar interbody fusion
A procedure that may be performed Posteriorly (PLIF), Transforaminally (TLIF) or anteriorly (ALIF) through minimal, or more traditional open, access techniques to fuse two or more vertebrae . Used for treating spondylolisthesis, severe disc degeneration. Bone grafts, cages, rods and screws are employed in these procedures.

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M

Medial
Pertaining to the middle; in or toward the middle; nearer the middle of the body. For example, the medial side of the knee is the side closest to the other knee. The opposite of medial is lateral.
Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow, Suitcase Elbow, Forehand Tennis Elbow)
Pain caused by irritation and trauma to the flexor tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm, and their origin in the inner aspect of the elbow.
Mal-union
State of healing of the bone in which bone unites but in abnormal position and/or alignment. May adversely affect function, but not always.
Menisci
Two crescent-shaped discs of connective tissue between the bones of the knees that act as shock absorbers to cushion the lower part of the leg from the weight of the rest of the body. Also called ‘cartilage’ and may be ‘torn’.
Morton's Neuroma
A swollen inflamed nerve or surrounding tissues, in the ball of the foot, usually between the base of the second and third toes, caused by chronic compression of a branch of the plantar nerve between the ends of the metatarsal bones.
Mosaicplasty
See OATS.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
A special radiology technique designed to image internal structures of the body using magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce the images of body structures. The image and resolution is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body, particularly in the soft tissue, brain and spinal cord, abdomen and joints. May often ‘over identify’ changes that are considered to be normal ‘wear and tear’ such as degenerative disc disease.
Multiple Sclerosis
Slowly progressive disease of nervous system in which scattered areas of degeneration of the myelin (lipid substance forming a sheath around certain nerve fibers) occur.
Musculoskeletal system
The complex system that includes: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
Myelogram
A specific X-ray study that uses an injection of a dye or contrast material into the spinal canal to allow careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots.

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N

Nerve block
A procedure in which an anesthetic agent is injected directly near a nerve to block pain. May be used as a sole means of anaesthesia, or as a pain relieving aid to surgery.
Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs
See NSAIDS.
Nonunion (or non-union)
See also Union, Pseudarthrosis, Delayed Union. Nonunion is failure of bone healing. A fracture is judged to be un-united if the signs of nonunion are present when a sufficient time has elapsed since injury, during which the particular fracture would normally be expected to have healed by bony union. That period will vary according to age, fracture location and biology. The signs of non-union include persisting pain and/or tenderness at the fracture site, pain and/or mobility on stressing the fracture site, and inability progressively to resume function. Slight warmth may be detected. Radiographs will be likely to show failure of re-establishment of bony continuity.
NSAIDS
Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs.

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O

OATS
Osteoarticular transfer system a.k.a mosaicplasty. A method of repairing articular cartilage defects (10 - 20 mm range) with hyaline cartilage. Most commonly employed within the knee and with good early results to date but some significant limitations.
Open Fracture
A fracture in which the bone is sticking through the skin. Also called a compound fracture.
Orthopaedic surgeon
The physician who diagnoses, treats, manages the rehabilitation process, and provides prevention protocols for patients who suffer from injury or disease in any of the components of the musculoskeletal system.
Orthopaedic surgery (or orthopaedics)
The medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the body's musculoskeletal system.
Orthotics
A support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of movable parts of the body.
Osteoarthritis
A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also known as degenerative arthritis.
Osteomyelitis
Inflammation of the bone due to infection, for example by the bacteria staphylococcus. It may be acute or chronic. This may be a blood-borne infection, usually in children or in the immunologically compromised - or follow an open fracture .The acute form, if diagnosed early and treated vigorously, can heal with no residual effects. The treatment of chronic osteomyelitis is surgical and includes wide excision of all dead and infected tissue, the identification of the responsible organism, and the delivery, both locally and systemically, of appropriate anti-bacterial agents.
Osteonecrosis
Death of bone tissue.
Osteoporosis
Thinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. May occur as a result of part of the aging process, or disuse or other (more rare) processes.
Osteotomy
Surgical procedure that changes the alignment of bone with or without removal of a portion of that bone.

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P

Paget's Disease
A chronic bone disorder that typically results in enlarged, deformed bones due to excessive breakdown and formation of bone tissue that can cause bones to weaken and may result in bone pain, arthritis, deformities or fractures.
Palmar
Pertaining to the palm of the hand, e. g. the palmar fascia, the palmar aspect of the fingers.
Patella
The kneecap.
Pathological fracture
A fracture through bone which is abnormal as a result of a pathological process. It may be the result of the application of a force less than that which would be required to produce a fracture in a corresponding normal bone.
Periosteum
The inelastic membrane bounding the exterior surface of a bone. The periosteum plays an active part in the blood supply to cortical bone, in fracture repair and in bone remodeling. It is continuous with the perichondrium – the membrane that bounds the periphery of the physis (growth plate).
Peripheral nerve disorders
Problems involving numbness, tingling and weakness in the upper extremity.
Plantar
Pertaining to the sole of the foot, i.e., the surface of the foot which is "planted" on the ground. Examples are the plantar fascia, and the plantar surfaces of the toes. Plantar flexion is a movement at the ankle which moves the foot downward, or in a plantar direction.
PLIF
See Lumbar interbody fusion.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
The ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia (shin bone). ‘Crosses’ with the ACL.
Pronation
A turning of the forearm and hand so that the palm faces downward or posteriorly. The opposite of supination.
Pseudarthrosis
See also Delayed Union, Nonunion, Union. Literally means “false joint”. When a nonunion is mobile and allowed to persist for long periods, the un-united bone ends become sclerotic and the intervening soft tissues differentiate to form a crude sort of synovial articulation.The term is often loosely and incorrectly used to describe all non-unions. Occasionally, a pseudarthrosis (in the sense of a false articulation) may be deliberately created surgically, such as trapeziumectomy for thumb (basilar) arthritis or excision of the radial head at the elbow.

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R

Radius
The shorter of the two bones of the forearm, on the ‘outer’ thumb side of the forearm and rotates on a radius on the ulna.
Resection
The removal of part of all of a bone.
Revision Joint Surgery
The replacement of artificial joints and damaged bone with special plastic and metal parts. This surgery is necessary when a previous joint replacement wears out.
Reduction
The realignment of a displaced fracture or a dislocated joint.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
One of the names given to Algodystrophy. One of the chronic regional pain syndromes. Usually follows an injury, not always a fracture. Characterised by chronic pain that fails to resolve within the time commensurate with the injury, swelling of the part, joint stiffness, alteration in skin colour, texture and/or temperature and associated with demineralisation of the local bone, especially in the bone just beneath the articular cartilage (subchondral bone). See Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Refracture
A fracture occurring at a former fracture site, after the bone has solidly bridged, at a load level otherwise tolerated by normal bone. The resulting fracture line may coincide with the original fracture line, or it may be located remote from the original fracture, but within the area of bone that has undergone changes as a result of the fracture and its treatment.
Rheumatoid arthritis
A crippling, aseptic, synovial inflammatory disease, usually involving many joints (polyarthritis). Results in an intense synovitis that eventually erodes the articular cartilage and the underlying sub-chondral (beneath the cartilage) bone.
RICE treatment
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Rotator Cuff Disease
Damage to the rotator cuff, a group of four tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint and move the shoulder in various directions.
Rotator Cuff Tear
Tear of the rotator cuff tendons. (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, or Subscapularis)
Rotator Cuff Tendinosis
Degenerative changes in rotator cuff tendon that occur with age and with overuse.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
Inflammation of the rotator cuff and associated bursal sac.

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S

Sacrum
The lower five vertebrae fused together and joined with the pelvis.
Scaphoid
A bone in the wrist. Prone to injury and sometimes difficult to diagnose. If undiagnosed or treatment delayed can have a high incidence of non-union, and subsequent wrist arthritis.
Scoliosis
A spinal deformity in which there is one, or more, curvature in the coronal plane which may be postural or structural. The latter is often associated with rotational deformity.
Shoulder Replacement
As with the hip and the knee shoulder replacements, shoulder replacements can replace both joint surfaces or just part of the shoulder surface, and can also be ‘resurfaced’. Occasionally a reverse replacement may be used if there is severe rotator cuff disease.
Simple (single) fracture
A disruption of bone with only two main fragments. Formerly used to denote a fracture that was not “compound” (or open)
SLAP Lesion
Superior labral lesion in the shoulder.
Soft-tissue
Generally, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the musculoskeletal system.
Spina bifida
A birth defect (a congenital malformation) in which there is a bony defect in the vertebral column so that part of the spinal cord, which is normally protected within the vertebral column, is exposed.
Spinal Fusions
A surgical procedure in which two or more of the vertebrae in the spine are united together so that motion no longer occurs between them.
Spinal Stenosis
A narrowing of the spinal canal (in the lower back). A degenerative condition occurring as a result of ‘wear and tear’ on the spine causing back pain, leg pain, weakness and loss of balance. Treated with exercises, physiotherapy and surgery. Surgery can be by X-Stop procedure or laminectomy.
Spondylolisthesis
The forward slip of one vertebral body on the one below it. This may be due to congenital elongation of the pars interarticularis of the vertebra, spondylolysis, degenerative joint disease affecting the intervertebral facet joints, and rarely an acute fracture of the pars interarticularis.
Spondylolysis
The presence of a loss of continuity of the pars interarticularis of a vertebral body. This can lead to instability and forward slip of one vertebral body on the one below it - spondylolisthesis.
Spondylosis
Degenerative change at one or more levels in the spinal column: degenerative intervertebral disc disease.
Spontaneous healing
The healing pattern of a fracture without treatment. Solid healing is observed in most cases, but mal-union frequently results. This is how animal fractures normally heal in the wild.
Sprain
An injury to a ligament that results from overuse or trauma. Sprains occurs when there is a stretch or tear in one or more ligaments, slightly elastic bands of tissue that keep the bones in place while permitting movement at a joint.
Stable fixation
A fixation which keeps the fragments of a fracture in motionless adaptation during the application of controlled physiological forces. While a mobile fracture produces pain with any attempt to move the limb, stable fixation allows early painless functional rehabilitation.
Strain
An injury to a tendon or muscle resulting from overuse or trauma.
Stress Fractures
A fracture caused by repetitive stress, as may occur in sports, strenuous exercise, or heavy physical labor.
Sudeck's atrophy
One of the names given to Algodystrophy, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Synovectomy
Excision of the synovial membrane or tissues lining the joints.
Synovial joint
The commonest form of joint in the body, where two bones end, each covered with hyaline cartilage, articulate, the one on the other. They are bound together by a joint capsule and ligaments. The interior of the joint, other than the cartilage surfaces, is lined by synovial membrane, which secretes synovial fluid as a lubricant and a nutrient transport fluid.
Supination
A turning of the forearm and hand so that the palm faces upward. The opposite of pronation.

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T

Tendon
The tissue by which a muscle attaches to bone. A tendon is somewhat flexible, but fibrous and tough.
Tendonitis
Inflammation of a tendon.
Tennis elbow
See Lateral epicondylitis.
TER
See Elbow replacement.
THR
See Hip replacement.
Tibia
The shin bone, or larger bone of the lower leg.
TKR
See Knee replacement.
TLIF
See Lumbar interbody fusion.
Torn Meniscus
A tear in the crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous disc between the two joint surfaces. Also called a ‘torn cartilage’.
Torn Rotator Cuff
Tear in one or more of the tendons that lie deep in the shoulder and bridge the gleno-humeral joint.
Traction
The use of a system of weights and pulleys to gradually change the position of a bone. It may be used in cases of bone injury or congenital defect, to prevent scar tissue from building up in ways to limit movement, and to prevent contractures in disorders such as cerebral palsy or arthritis.
Trigger Finger
Catching or locking of a finger.
TSR
See Shoulder replacement.

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U

Ulna
The longer of the two bones in the forearm.
Ulnar neuritis
A condition that results in pain, pins and needles, numbness, and weakness and clumsiness of the hand as a result of pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Should affect some fingers more than others (little and ring). The nerve involved is the same one as is hurt when the ‘funny bone’ is hit.
Union
Strictly speaking, union means “as one” – as in marital union, a workers’ union, even national groups, e.g. the United States. Equally strictly, if a fracture is fixed so that the bone functions as a single unit, then it has been surgically “united”, the bone is not, however, healed. What we are saying is that a healing fracture has reached the point in the process of union when the experienced surgeon estimates that it can withstand normal functional loads for that patient.

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V

Valgus
Deviation away from the midline in the anatomical position. Thus, genu valgum is a deformity at the knee where the lower leg is angled away from the midline (knock knee). By convention any deformity, or deviation, is described in terms of the movement of the distal part.
Varus
Deviation toward the midline in the anatomical position. Thus, genu varum is a deformity at the knee where the lower leg is angled toward the midline (bow leg). By convention any deformity, or deviation, is described in terms of the movement of the distal part.

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X

X-Stop
A procedure employing a titanium spacer to wedge open a narrow spinal canal as a means of treating spinal stenosis after non operative treatments have failed, and in whom the pattern of disease makes them suitable for this lesser procedure (when compared to a laminectomy). Not everyone with lumbar spinal stenosis is suitable for this procedure.

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Sub acromial decompression Nerve decompression Revision hip surgery Meniscal injury Deformity Biceps tendon repair Dynamic hip screw Rotator cuff disease Trigger thumb release Tennis elbow surgery Fusion Rotator cuff repair Golfer’s elbow surgery Hammer toes Trigger thumb Ganglion