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Glossary of Terms

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Glossary of Terms
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W
A/P Anterior/Posterior (anatomic terms)
Abduct To draw away from the midline.
Abduction The act of drawing away from the midline; opposite of adduction.
Abductor A muscle performing the function of abduction.
Acetabulum The cup-shaped socket in the hip bone.
Acromion Bony process of the scapula which forms the outer angle of the shoulder.
Adduct To draw toward the midline; to bring together.
Adduction The act of drawing toward the midline; opposite abduction.
Allograft A tissue transplanted to a different individual of the same species.
All-poly A component composed entirely of polyethylene, with no metal parts.
Ankylosis The fusion of a joint.
Anterior Placed in the front or forward part; opposite of posterior.
Arthritis Inflammation of a joint.
Arthrodesis Fusion of a joint, eliminating all motion.
Arthroplasty The surgical reconstruction of a joint.
Arthrosis A degenerative disease of a joint.
Arthrotomy An incision into a joint.
Articular Of, or relating to a joint.
Articulation Movement of a joint.
Asepsis A condition free from germs; free from infection.
Aspirate To remove by suction.
Atrophy A wasting away of tissue usually through disuse.
Autograft A tissue transplanted from one part to another part of the same body.
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Bilateral Occurring on both sides of a midline point or pertaining to both sides of the body (ex. bilateral knee replacement means having both knees replaced).
Blood A fluid tissue circulating through heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries.
Bone cement (see also cement) Material usually made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) which acts like a grout between an implant and the patient's bone.
Bone growth factor Material usually made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) which acts like a grout between an implant and the patient's bone.
Brachial Pertaining to the arm.
Broach, broaching A broach is a tool or instrument used to enlarge the interior canal of bones to allow for insertion of implants, broaching is the process of enlarging the canal.
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Cage A type of spinal implant.
Calcaneus The heel bone; also termed calcaneum.
Calcar A thickened plate of bone near the head of the femur.
Cancellous The lattice-like bone structure; softer bone.
Cancellous bone Having a porous structure made up of intersecting plates and bars that fit on small cavities or cells.
Capsular A ligament which surrounds a movable joint.
Carpal Pertaining to the wrist.
Cement (Bone cement) Material usually made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) which acts like a grout between an implant and the patient's bone.
Cemented An implant which is secured in a patient's body with the aid of bone cement or the process of using cement to help fix an implant.
Central Situated in the mid-portion as opposed to peripheral.
Chronic Of long duration; opposite of acute.
Circumduct To rotate in a cone shape around a single point, as in the shoulder joint.
Circumflex Bent or turned about.
Clavicle The collar bone.
Cobalt-chrome (CoCr) A metal alloy with excellent resistance to fatigue, cracking and stress, widely-used in orthopedic implants.
Coccyx Last, lowest portion of vertebral column (tailbone).
Concave Having a depressed surface; center is at a lower level than edge; opposite of convex.
Condyle An articular prominence of bone.
Condyloid Resembling a knuckle.
Congenital Present at birth, as in CDH, congenital dislocated hip.
Convex Having a rounded elevated surface; opposite of concave.
Coxa The hip; coxae, "of the hip."
Cruciate ligament Any paired set of ligaments that cross over each other in an "X" formation, usually used to refer to the posterior cruciate ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee, which help stabilize the forward and backward motion of the knee.
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Deltoid A large triangular muscle that covers the shoulder joint. It serves to raise the arm laterally. The deltoid arises from the upper anterior part of the outer third of the clavicle and from the acromium and spine of the scapula, and is inserted into the outer side of the mid-shaft of the humerus. Also known as the deltoid muscle.
Diagnosis Recognition of disease from symptoms.
Diathrosis A freely moveable joint; plural diarthroses.
Dislocation The displacement of any part, especially the removal temporarily of a bone from its normal position in a joint.
Distal Remote; opposite of proximal.
Dorsiflex To turn toward the back; opposite of palmar flex.
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Endosteum Tissue surrounding the medullary cavity of bone.
Epi A prefix meaning "on" or "above" opposite of hypo.
Epicondyle A prominence or a bone on or upon a condyle.
Epiphysis A part of process of a bone which ossifles separately before making osseous union with the main portion of the bone; the "growth plate" of bones.
Etiology The study of the causes of disease.
Extension A movement at a joint bringing the two parts into or toward a straight line from a flexed position; opposite of flexion.
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FDA Food and Drug Administration
Femur Thigh; bone of the thigh; femoral is the adjective; femoris, "of the thigh." Smaller bone of lower leg; tile splint bone.
Fixation The act, process or operation of holding, suturing or fastening something into a fixed position. In orthopedics, often refers to the stability and immobilization of an implant into the patient's body.
Flexion Sagittal plane movement in which the anterior surfaces of two segments are brought closer to each other; opposite of extension; bending of a joint.
Flexure The curved or bent part of a structure.
Foramen A hole; plural, foramina, or foramens.
Fossa A pit or hollow; plural, fossae.
Fracture A break in the continuity of bone.
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Glenoid Resembling a pit or pocket. The glenoid fossa of the scapula is very shallow. Analogous to the acetabulum of the hip.
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Hallux The great toe; hallucis "of the great toe."
Humerus The upper arm bone.
Hydroxyapatite (HA) A bioactive calcium phosphate ceramic similar to normal bone, may be applied to implant surfaces.
Hyper Prefix meaning above; opposite of hype.
Hyperplasia Increase in size of a tissue or organ due to an increase in the number of cells.
Hypertrophy Increase in the size of a tissue or organ due to an increase in the size of its constituent cells.
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Ilium The bone of the flank; adjective is iliac; ilio is the combining form.
Implant (see also stem, prosthesis) A device (or tissue or substance) that is transferred, grafted, or inserted into a living body.
Index Referring to the forefinger or "pointing" finger.
Ingrowth, bone or bony ingrowth The process of living bone or tissue growing up to and into the surface of an implant, very important for stabilization and long-term life of the implant.
Instrument A tool or implement used in surgery.
Interbody fusion A surgical technique for achieving bony fusion between invertebral bodies, term used to describe a specific back surgery technique.
Internal Within or on the inside.
Ischium Bone of the hip; adjective is ischiatic, ischial, or sciatic.
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Kyphosis An abnormal condition (curvature) of the spine; hunch-backed.
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Lateral Pertaining to the side; opposite of medial.
Ligament Fibrous connective tissue connecting the articular ends of bones serving to bind them together and to facilitate or Ijinit motion.
Luxation Dislocation of a joint.
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M/L Medial/Lateral (anatomic term)
Malleolus A little hammer (mallet); a hammer-shaped process; ankle bone. Plural, malleoli.
Mandible Bone of lower jaw.
Marrow Soft central part of a bone.
Maxilla A jawbone; particularly the bone of the upper jaw.
Media Middle
Medial Pertaining to the center; opposite of lateral.
Median Pertaining to the middle; that is, between two other structures.
Meniscectomy Removal of the meniscus cartilage of the knee.
Meniscus A "C" shaped cartilage in the knee which provides a stabilization system for the knee and a measure of shock absorption.
Metacarpus Beyond the instep; the five bones of the foot between the toes and tarsal bones.
MRSA Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. It can grow in surgical wounds and therefore poses a serious risk in orthopedic surgeries.
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Navicular Boat shaped; carpal bone at the base of the thumb. Also called the scaffoid.
Necrosis Death of areas of tissue or bone surrounded by healthy tissue.
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O.R.I.F. Open Reduction, Internal Fixation.
Olecranon The large process of the ulna that projects behind the elbow; it forms the bony prominence of the elbow, and receives the insertion of the triceps muscle.
Orbital Pertaining to the orbit (eye).
Orthopedics Branch of medical science that deals with treatment of disorders involving locomotor structures of the body, especially the skeleton, joints, muscle, fascia.
Orthopedist A physician specializing in orthopedics.
Ossification Formation of bone.
Osteophyte An abnormal bony outgrowth
Osteoporosis Increased porosity of bone.
Osteotomy Cutting and repositioning bone to more functional position.
Outcomes The results of surgery in terms of patient satisfaction, reduction of pain, improved function, etc. Outcomes are tracked by hospitals and practices.
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Palmar The palm of the hand.
Patella The kneecap
Patient Satisfaction Surveys Surveys which seek to measure patients' satisfaction with their surgery, recovery, etc. These form part of the outcomes data that surgeons and hospitals track.
Pedal Pertaining to the foot.
Pelvis A basin or basin-like structure.
Peri Prefix meaning "around."
Peripheral Located on or near the surface of a part.
Pes The foot; pedis, "of the foot."
Phalanges Plural of phalanx, which refers to any bone of the finger or toe.
Plantar Pertaining to the sole of the foot; plaritaris; Latin adjective plantae, "of the sole of the foot."
Plasma Fluid portion of the blood.
Plastics (see also polyethylene, UHMWPE) A common term that in orthopedic devices refers usually to polyethylene and more specifically to ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).
PMMA (see also cement, bone cement) Poly methylmethacrylate (bone cement).
Polyethylene A type of plastic formed by the polymerization of ethylene. Different structural properties come from differences in molecular weight, branching, cross-linkage and crystallinity. The most common form used in orthopedic devices is ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).
Porous-coated The design feature of a type of implant where the metal has small surface openings into which bone or tissue is intended to grow for permanent stabilization.
Press-fit (see also uncemented) Describes the fit at the interface of an implant with the surrounding bone; the implant is implanted without cement and is tightly "pressed" or impacted into the patient's bone.
Primary Initial or first; in joint replacement, this term is used to indicate the first surgery to repair or replace a joint as opposed to a revision surgery which replaces or revises an implant.
Process A slender projecting point.
Pronate To turn palm downward (opposite: supinate).
Prone Lying with face downward (opposite: supine).
Prosthesis Replacement of a missing part by an artificial substitute. An artificial organ or part.
Protract To extend forward or outward; opposite of retract.
Proximal Nearest; opposite of distal.
PS Posterior Stabilized; a posterior stabilized knee is a type of semiconstrained total knee system that compensates for a deficient or absent posterior cruciate ligament through its surface geometry (its design minimizes forward and backward movement of the knee and substitutes for the function of the ligament).
Pseudarthrosis A false joint developing after a fracture that has not united.
Pseudo A prefix signifying "false.
Pubis Pubic bone
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Radius A bone of the forearm.
Ream, reaming A verb meaning to gouge out holes or enlarge holes already made, in orthopedic surgery, bones need to be reamed to allow for the implantation of a prosthesis.
Recurvatum Hyperextension of the knee.
Reduction Restoration to normal position.
Retract To pull back; opposite of protract.
Retroflexion A backward bending of one part of an organ on another portion; Opposite of anteflexion.
Retroversion A backward turning; the entire organ is turned backward; opposite of anteversion.
Revision In orthopedic surgery, this term indicates a subsequent surgery to alter, replace or remove an implant.
ROM (range of motion) The area through which a joint may be moved in all planes, measured in degrees. The greater the ROM, the more flexible the joint. One of the goals of joint replacement is to improve a patient's ROM in the joint that may have been lost to arthritis, trauma or deformity.
Rotation The act of turning about a centrally located length axis.
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Sacrum Five fused vertebrae below the last lumbar vertebra.
Sagittal Pertaining to the median vertical plane of the body.
Scapula The shoulder blade.
Scoliosis Lateral abnormal curvature of the spine.
Semilunar Shaped like a half moon.
Septic Infection due to presence of pathogenic organisms.
Serrated Having a saw-tooth edge.
Serum Clear portion of any animal fluid.
Skeleton The hard framework of the body. The bones of the body collectively.
Spinous A spine-like process.
Stem (see also implant, prosthesis) A device (or tissue or substance) that is transferred, grafted, or inserted into a living body.
Sterile Clean and free from all living micro-organisms.
Sternum The breast bone
Subclavian Beneath the clavicle
Subluxation A partial or incomplete dislocation.
Submaxillary Beneath the maxilla
Subscapular Beneath the scapula
Subsidence The settling of a prosthesis after implantation; it is determined by comparing x-rays immediately after surgery to x-rays taken at a later date. Subsidence is a sure sign of loosening of an implant.
Supinate To turn the palm of the hand upward (opposite: pronate).
Supine Lying flat on the back (opposite: prone).
Supra Prefix meaning "above;" super has same meaning; opposite of sub.
Surgical technique A series of steps required to complete a surgical procedure (or operation).
Symphysis A growing together.
Synovectomy An immovable joint.
Synovia A union of bones by means of cartilage.
Synovial Membrane A thin tissue that lines the capsule surrounding the joint.
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Talus The ankle; a bone of the ankle. The tarsal bone articulating with the distal tibia and fibula.
Tarsus (1) The instep; the seven bones forming the back portion of the foot
(2) Connective tissue framework of the eyelids.
Tendon Fibrous connective tissue serving for the attachment of muscles to bones and other parts. Syn. - sinew.
Tibia Latin name of shin bone. Larger bone in the lower leg. Pertaining to the tibia; Latin adjective, tibialis.
Tissue A collection of similar cells specialized to perform a particular function.
Titanium A metal often used in the manufacture of orthopedic devices or implants. It has good fatigue, wear and strength characteristics and is often combined with other metals in alloys which enhance desirable characteristics.
Trabecular A type of mature bone commonly found at the ends of bones, it is composed of a latticework of bony plates and columns. Its structure gives trabecular bone a great deal of strength despite having less bony material than cortical bone.
Trochanter Either of two bony processes of the upper femoral shaft for muscle attachment.
Trochlear groove The articular portion of the anterior surface of the distal femur (the front-facing notch at the lowest part of the femur where the femur joins the knee joint, this groove provides a shallow depression where the patella slides as the knee articulates).
Tubercle A small rounded elevation of eminence on a bone.
Tuberosity Broad eminence on a bone.
UHMWPE (see also polyethylene, plastic) Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, a type of polyethylene with superior wear properties, very commonly used in orthopedic devices.
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Ulna The inner and larger bone or the forearm; In the correct anatomic position, palms forward, the inner and larger bone of the forearm, between the wrist and the elbow, on the side opposite the thumb.
UNI Unicompartmental knee (also can be the abbreviation for unilateral).
Unilateral (see also uni) One-sided, affecting only one-side (ex. a unilateral knee replacement would replace just one knee, not both).
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Valgus A term denoting position meaning bent outward (knock-knee) or twisted, applied especially to deformities in which a part is bent outward. Also increased femoral head-neck angle.
Varus (1) Turned inward; bowlegged.
(2) A condition in which a clubfooted person walks on outer border of the foot. Also, decreased femoral head-neck angle.
Vertex The summit or apex.
Viscous Sticky or gummy, thick fluid.
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Wear The loss of material from solid surfaces due to mechanical abrasion.
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IOS, 801 Medical Drive, Suite B, Lima, Ohio 45804
801 Medical Drive
Suite B
Lima, Ohio 45804
Phone:  419-224-7586
Fax: 419-224-9769