Common Orthopedic Surgery Terms

Acetabulum – cup-shaped socket of your hip joint; receptacle for femur head

Allograft – tissue or bone graft from a cadaver or living donor

Anterior cruciate ligament tears – acute injury to ligaments in knee when foot is planted and outward force is applied to knee; more common in females

Arthrodesis – the surgical fusion of a joint, rendering the joint immovable; used to relieve pain or stabilize joint

Arthroplasty – surgical procedure to replace a joint

Arthroscopy – minimally invasive surgical procedure using a high-definition camera, called an arthroscope, inserted through a small incision

Articular cartilage – firm, rubbery tissue that covers the ends of bones to form joints

Autograft – tissue or bone from your own body to replace damaged tissue or bone

Bone scan – diagnostic test used to identify bone fractures, infections or lesions

Calcaneus - heel bone

Capsule – collagenous structure enveloping and protecting a joint

Carpal tunnel syndrome – compression of the median nerve in your rest, resulting in pain, numbness and weakness in your hand

Cartilage – firm, rubbery tissue cushioning bones at joints; in children, it forms a template for bone formation

Closed fracture – a broken bone that doesn’t break through your skin

Closed reduction – a repair of your fractured bone or dislocated joint where a surgical procedure is not necessary; your bones or joints are manipulated

Clubfoot – a complex foot birth defect where the foot is turned such that the person appears to be walking on his ankle

Comminuted fracture – a broken bone with two or more fractures

Compound fracture – a broken bone that breaks the skin

Connective tissue – tissue that supports and connects your organs and other structures

Corticosteroids – synthetic hormones that reduce inflammation; taken in pill form or injected into painful areas

Dislocation – occurs when the head of a bone is displaced from its socket

Fascia – long bands of connective tissue forming outer layer of muscles

Fatigue fracture – tiny fractures that result from repeated action, such as running

Femoral head – upper end of your thighbone, joining with the acetabulum

Femoral neck – part of your thighbone between the head and the main shaft; breakage frequently occurs here

Fracture – a break in bone, often classified by their character or location

Fracture callus – bone regrowth at site of fracture

Genu valgum – Knock-knees

Genu varum – bowlegs

Instability – unsteadiness, looseness or inability to withstand normal weight without losing balance

Joint – junction between two bones for the purpose of motion

Joint manipulation – a form of manual therapy employing skilled movement of a joint within or beyond its normal range of motion

Joint mobilization – a form of manual therapy employing passive movement to treat joint dysfunctions

Kyphosis – outward curvature of the spine

Ligament – tough tissue connecting two bones, stabilizing a joint

Lisfranc fracture – a fracture in the middle of your foot

Load – how much weight you can bear without losing balance

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - diagnostic imaging technique using computer technology, resulting in clear 3D images

Malunion – an improper repair or healing of a fracture

Meniscus – crescent-shaped smooth surface on which a joint slides

Microtrauma – minute destruction caused by repetitive action

Muscles – connective tissue that contracts and expands, providing movement

Nerve conduction studies – tests that determine the efficiency of your motor and sensory nerves

Neuralgia – nerve pain

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and piroxicam, which help reduce swelling and pain

Nonunion – failure of a fracture to heal

Oblique fracture – a diagonal break in the bone

Open reduction – surgical procedure to set a fractured bone

Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) – surgical procedure to set a fractured bone using plates, screws or rods

Osteomyelitis – bone infection

Osteonecrosis – death of a bone

Osteosynthesis – healing of your fracture

Osteotomy – cutting a bone

Overuse injury – damage caused by repeated stress

Plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the tissue on the heel of your foot

Resection arthroplasty – a surgical procedure where the damaged surfaces of your bone are cut away, allowing new cartilage to grow

Revascularization – a surgical procedure to promote blood supply to a broken bone

Rotator cuff – a group of four tendons and muscles that stabilize your shoulder joint

Sprain – the partial or complete tear of a ligament due to overuse or trauma

Strain – injury resulting from stress

Stress fracture – a microscopic break in your bone caused by repetitive stress or overuse

Tendinitis – inflammation of a tendon due to stress or high intensity

Tendon – tough but flexible rope-like tissue at both ends of a muscle; used to attach muscle to bone

Tennis elbow – inflammation of the tendons where they join the bones of the elbow


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