Click on any of the terms below to hear the pronunciation. Information in parenthesis after the term may or may not be included in the audio.
abduction Directional term meaning to move away from the median or middle line of the body.
action The type of movement a muscle produces.
adduction Directional term meaning to move toward the median or middle line of the body.
adductor longus A leg muscle named for the direction the fibers pull. This muscle contracts to adduct or pull the leg in toward the midline.
adhesion Scar tissue forming in the fascia surrounding a muscle making it difficult to stretch the muscle.
amputation Partial or complete removal of a limb for a variety of reasons, including tumors, gangrene, intractable pain, crushing injury, or uncontrollable infection.
ankylosing spondylitis Inflammatory spinal condition that resembles rheumatoid arthritis; results in gradual stiffening and fusion of the vertebrae; more common in men than women.
antagonistic pairs Pair of muscles arranged around a joint that produce opposite actions.
appendicular skeleton The appendicular skeleton consists of the bones of the upper and lower extremities, shoulder, and pelvis.
arthralgia Pain in a joint.
arthritis Inflammation of a joint that is usually accompanied by pain and swelling. A chronic disease.
arthrocentesis Removal of synovial fluid with a needle from a joint space, such as in the knee, for examination.
arthroclasia Surgically breaking loose a stiffened joint.
arthrodesis Surgical fusion or stiffening of a joint to provide stability. This is sometimes done to relieve the pain of arthritis.
arthrography Visualization of a joint by radiographic study after injection of a contrast medium into the joint space.
arthroscopic surgery Use of an arthroscope to facilitate performing surgery on a joint.
arthroscopy Examination of the interior of a joint by entering the joint with an arthroscope. The arthroscope contains a small television camera that allows the physician to view the interior of the joint on a monitor during the procedure.
arthrotomy Surgically cutting into a joint.
articular cartilage Layer of cartilage covering the ends of bones forming a synovial joint.
articulation Another term for a joint, the point where two bones meet.
atrophy Lack or loss of normal development.
axial skeleton The axial skeleton includes the bones in the head, spine, chest, and trunk.
biceps An arm muscle named for the number of attachment points. Bi- means two and biceps have two heads attached to the bone.
bone graft Piece of bone taken from the patient and used to replace a removed bone or a bony defect at another site.
bone marrow Soft tissue found inside cavities in bones; produces blood cells.
bone reabsorption inhibitors Conditions that result in weak and fragile bones, such as osteoporosis and Paget's disease, are improved by medications that reduce the reabsorption of bones.
bone scan Patient is given a radioactive dye and then scanning equipment is used to visualize bones. It is especially useful in observing the progress of treatment for osteomyelitis and cancer metastases to the bone.
bradykinesia Slow movement, commonly seen with the rigidity of Parkinson's disease.
bunion Inflammation of the bursa of the great toe.
bunionectomy Removal of the bursa at the joint of the great toe.
bursa A sac-like connective tissue structure found in some joints. It-protects moving parts from friction. Some common bursa locations are the elbow, knee, and shoulder joints.
bursectomy Excision of a bursa.
bursitis Inflammation of a bursa between bony prominences and muscles or tendons. Common in the shoulder and knee.
bursolith A stone in a bursa.
calcium supplements Maintaining high blood levels of calcium in association with vitamin D helps maintain bone density and treats osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and rickets.
callus The mass of bone tissue that forms at a fracture site during its healing.
cancellous bone The bony tissue found inside a bone. It contains cavities that hold red bone marrow. Also called spongy bone.
carpal tunnel release Surgical cutting of the ligament in the wrist to relieve nerve pressure caused by carpal tunnel disease, which can be caused by repetitive motion such as typing.
Carpal tunnel syndrome A painful disorder of the wrist and hand, induced by compression of the median nerve as it passes under ligaments on the palm side of the wrist. Symptoms include weakness, pain, burning, tingling, and aching in the forearm, wrist, and hand.
carpals The wrist bones in the upper extremity.
cartilaginous joint A joint that allows slight movement but holds bones firmly in place by a solid piece of cartilage. The public symphysis is an example of a cartilaginous joint. The fetal skeleton is composed of cartilaginous tissue.
cast Application of a solid material to immobilize an extremity or portion of the body as a result of a fracture, dislocation, or severe injury. It is most often made of plaster of paris.
cervical vertebrae The seven vertebrae in the neck region.
chondrectomy Excision of cartilage.
chondromalacia Softening of cartilage.
circumduction Movement in a circular direction from a central point.
clavicle Also called the collar bone. A bone of the pectoral girdle.
clavicular Pertaining to the clavicle or collar bone.
closed fracture (simple fracture) A fracture with no open skin or wound.
coccygeal Pertaining to the coccyx or tailbone.
coccyx The tailbone, the four small fused vertebrae at the distal end of the vertebral column.
Colles' fracture A specific type of wrist fracture.
comminuted fracture A fracture in which the bone is shattered, splintered, or crushed into many pieces or fragments. The fracture is completely through the bone.
condyle Refers to the rounded portion at the end of a bone.
contracture An abnormal shortening of a muscle making it difficult to stretch the muscle.
cortical bone The hard exterior surface bone. Also called compact bone.
corticosteroids General term for the group of hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex. They include mineralocorticoid hormones, glucocorticold hormones, and steroid sex hormones.
costal Pertaining to the ribs.
craniotomy Incision into the skull.
cranium The skull; bones that form a protective covering over the brain.
creatine phosphokinase (CPK) A muscle enzyme found in skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle; blood test becomes elevated in disorders such as heart attack, muscular dystrophy, and other skeletal muscle pathologies.
crepitation Sound of broken bones rubbing together.
deep tendon reflex (DTR) Muscle contraction in response to a stretch caused by striking the muscle tendon with a reflex hammer; test used to determine if muscles are responding properly.
diaphysis The shaft portion of a long bone.
diskectomy Removal of a herniated intervertebral disk.
dislocation Occurs when the bones in a joint are displaced from their normal alignment.
dorsiflexion Backward bending, as of hand or foot.
dystrophy Abnormal or poor development.
electromyogram (EMG) Record of muscle electricity.
electromyography Recording of the electrical patterns of a muscle in order to diagnose diseases.
elevation A muscle action that raises a body part, as in shrug the shoulders.
epicondyle A projection located above or on a condyle.
epiphysis The wide ends of a long bone.
eversion Directional term meaning turning outward.
Ewing's sarcoma Malignant growth found in the shaft of long bones that spreads through the periosteum. Removal is treatment of choice, as this tumor will metastasize or spread to other organs.
exostosis A bone spur.
extension Movement that brings limb into or toward a straight condition.
facial bones The skull bones that surround the mouth, nose, and eyes; muscles for chewing are attached to the facial bones.
fascia Connective tissue that wraps muscles. It tapers at each end of a skeletal muscle to form tendons.
fasciitis Inflammation of fascia.
fasciorrhaphy Suturing fascia.
fasciotomy Incision into fascia.
femoral Pertaining to the femur or thigh bone.
femur Also called the thigh bone. It is a lower extremity bone.
fibromyalgia A condition with widespread aching and pain in the muscles and soft tissue.
fibrous joint A joint that has almost no movement because the ends of the bones are joined together by thick fibrous tissue. The sutures of the skull are an example of a fibrous joint.
fibula One of the lower leg bones in the lower extremity.
fibular Pertaining to the fibula, a lower leg bone.
flat bone A type of bone with a thin flattened shape. Examples include the scapula, ribs, and pelvic bones.
flexion Act of bending or being bent.
foramen A passage or opening through a bone for nerves and blood vessels.
fossa A shallow cavity or depression within or on the surface of a bone.
fracture An injury to a bone that causes it to break. Fractures are named to describe the type of damage to the bone.
frontal bone The forehead bone of the skull.
ganglion Knot-like mass of nerve tissue located outside the brain and spinal cord.
gluteus maximus A muscle named for its size and location: gluteus means rump area and maximus means large.
gout Inflammation of the joints caused by excessive uric acid.
greenstick fracture Fracture in which there is an incomplete break; one side of the bone is broken and the other side is bent. This type of fracture is commonly found in children due to their softer and more pliable bone structure.
head The large ball-shaped end of a bone. It may be separated from the shaft of the bone by an area called the neck.
herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) A rupture of the fibrocartilage disk between two vertebrae. This results in pressure on a spinal nerve and causes pain, weakness, and nerve damage. Also called a slipped disk.
humeral Pertaining to the humerus or upper arm bone.
humerus The upper arm bone in the upper extremity.
hyoid bone A singe, U-shaped bone suspended in the neck between the mandible and larynx. It is a point of attachment for swallowing and speech muscles.
hyperkinesia An excessive amount of movement.
hypertrophy An increase in the bulk or size of a tissue or structure.
iliac Pertaining to the ilium; one of the pelvic bones.
impacted fracture Fracture in which bone fragments are pushed into each other.
innominate bone Also called the os coxae or hip bone. It is the pelvis portion of the lower extremity. It consists of the ilium, ischium, and pubis and unites with the sacrum and coccyx to form the pelvis.
Insertion The attachment of a skeletal muscle to the more movable bone in the joint.
intervertebral Pertaining to between vertebrae.
intracranial Pertaining to inside the skull.
inversion Directional term meaning turning inward or inside out.
irregular bones A type of bone having an irregular shape. Vertebrae are irregular bones.
ischial Pertaining to the ischium, one of the pelvic bones.
ischium One of the three bones that form the os coxae or innominate bone of the pelvis.
joint The point at which two bones meet. It provides flexibility.
kyphosis Abnormal increase in the outward curvature of the thoracic spine. Also known as hunchback or humpback.
lacrimal bone A facial bone.
laminectomy Removal of a portion of a vertebra in order to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve.
lateral epicondylitis Inflammation of the muscle attachment to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow; often caused by strongly gripping. Commonly called tennis elbow.
leiomyofibroma Fibrous smooth muscle tumor.
leiomyoma Smooth muscle tumor.
ligaments Very strong bands of connective tissue that bind bones together at a joint.
long bone A type of bone that is longer than it is wide. Examples include the femur, humerus, and phalanges.
lordosis Abnormal increase in the forward curvature of the lumbar spine. Also known as swayback.
lower extremity (LE) The leg.
lumbar Pertaining to the five low back vertebrae.
lumbar vertebrae The five vertebrae in the low back region.
mandible The lower jawbone.
mandibular Pertaining to the mandible or lower jaw.
maxilla The upper jawbone.
maxillary Pertaining to the maxilla or upper jaw.
medullary cavity The large open cavity that extends the length of the shaft of a long bone; contains yellow bone marrow.
metacarpals The hand bones in the upper extremity.
metatarsals The ankle bones in the lower extremity.
muscle biopsy Removal of muscle tissue for pathological examination.
muscle relaxant Produces the relaxation of skeletal muscle.
muscle tissue fibers The bundles of muscle tissue that form a muscle.
muscles Muscles are bundles of parallel muscle tissue fibers. As there fibers contract (shorten in length) they pull whatever they are attached to closer together. This may move two bones closer together or make an opening more narrow. A muscle contraction occurs when a message is transmitted from the brain through the nervous system to the muscles.
muscular dystrophy Inherited disease causing a progressive muscle weakness and atrophy.
myelography Injection of a radiopaque dye into the spinal canal. An X-ray is then taken to examine the normal and abnormal outlines made by the dye.
myeloma Malignant neoplasm originating in plasma cells in the bone.
myocardium The middle layer of the muscle. It is thick and composed of cardiac muscle. This layer produces the heart contraction.
myoneural junction The point at which a nerve contacts a muscle fiber.
myopathy Any disease of muscles.
myoplasty Surgical repair of muscle.
myorrhaphy Suture a muscle.
nasal bone A facial bone.
neck A narrow length of bone that connects the ball of a ball-and-socket joint to the diaphysis of a long bone.
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) A large group of drugs including aspirin and ibuprofen that provide mild pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits for conditions such as arthritis.
oblique fracture Fracture at an angle to the bone.
occipital bone A cranial bone.
open fracture, compound fracture Fracture in which the skin has been broken through to the fracture.
opposition Moves thumb away from palm; the ability to move the thumb into contact with the other fingers.
origin The attachment of a skeletal muscle to the less movable bone in the joint.
orthopedist Physician who specializes in treatment of conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
orthotics The use of equipment, such as splints and braces, to support a paralyzed muscle, promote a specific motion, or correct musculoskeletal deformities.
orthotist Person skilled in orthotics.
os coxae Also called the innominate bone or hip bone. It is the pelvis portion of the lower extremity. It consists of the ilium, ischium, and pubis and unites with the sacrum and coccyx to form the pelvis.
osseous tissue Bony tissue. One of the hardest tissues in the body.
ossification The process of bone formation.
osteoarthritis Noninflammatory type of arthritis resulting in degeneration oft he bones and joints, especially those bearing weight.
osteoblasts Embryonic bone cells.
osteocarcinoma Cancer of the bone.
osteochondroma Tumor composed of both cartilage and bony substance.
osteoclasia Intentional breaking of a bone in order to correct a deformity.
osteocytes Mature bone cells.
osteogenic sarcoma The most common type of bone cancer; usually begins in osteocytes found at the ends of long bones.
osteomalacia Softening of the bones caused by a deficiency of phosphorus or calcium. It is thought that in children the cause is insufficient sunlight and vitamin D.
osteomyelitis Inflammation of the bone and bone marrow due to infection; can be difficult to treat.
osteopathy Form of medicine that places great emphasis on the musculoskeletal system and the body system as a whole. Manipulation is also used as part of the treatment.
osteoporosis Decrease in bone mass that results in a thinning and weakening of the bone with resulting fractures. The bone becomes more porous, especially in the spine and pelvis.
osteotome An instrument to cut bone.
osteotomy Incision into a bone.
Paget's disease A fairly common metabolic disease of the bone from unknown causes. It usually attacks middle-aged and elderly people and is characterized by bone destruction and deformity.
parietal bone A cranial bone.
patella Also called the kneecap. It is a lower extremity bone.
patellar Pertaining to the patella or kneecap.
pathologic fracture Fracture caused by diseased or weakened bone.
pectoral girdle Consists of the clavicle and scapula; functions to attach the upper extremity to the axial skeleton.
pelvic girdle Consists of the ilium, ischium, and pubis; functions to attach the lower extremity to the axial skeleton.
periosteum The membrane that covers most bones. It contains numerous nerves and lymphatic vessels.
phalangeal Pertaining to the phalanges or finger and toe bones.
phalanges The finger bones in the upper extremities and the toe bones in the lower extremities.
photon absorptiometry Measurement of bone density using an instrument for the purpose of detecting osteoporosis.
plantar flexion Bend sole of foot; point toes downward.
podiatrist Specialist in treating disorders of the feet.
polymyositis Disease involving muscle inflammation and weakness from an unknown cause.
process A projection from the surface of a bone.
pronation To turn downward or backward, as with the hand or foot.
prosthesis Artificial device used as a substitute for a body part that is either congenitally missing or absent as a result of accident or disease; for instance, an artificial leg or hip prosthesis.
prosthetist Person who fabricates and fits prostheses.
pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy One type of inherited muscular dystrophy in which the muscle tissue is gradually replaced by fatty tissue, making the muscle look strong.
pubic Pertaining to the pubis; one of the pelvic bones.
pubic symphysis The point where the left and right pubic bones meet and are held together by a thick piece of cartilage, making it a cartilaginous joint.
pubis One of the three bones that form the os coxae or innominate bone.
radial Pertaining to the radius; a lower arm bone.
radius One of the forearm bones in the upper extremity.
rectus abdominis A muscle named for its location and the direction of its fibers: rectus means straight and abdominis means abdominal.
red bone marrow Tissue that manufactures most of the blood cells. It is found in cancellous bone cavities.
reduction Correcting a fracture by realigning the bone fragments. Closed reduction is doing this without entering the body. Open reduction is making a surgical incision at the site of the fracture to do the reduction, often necessary where there are bony fragments to be removed.
rhabdomyolysis Skeletal muscle destruction.
rhabdomyoma Skeletal muscle tumor.
rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Chronic form of arthritis with inflammation of the joints, swelling, stiffness, pain, and changes in the cartilage that can result in crippling deformities.
rib cage Also called the chest cavity. It is the cavity formed by the curved ribs extending from the vertebral column around the sides and attaching to the sternum. The ribs are part of the axial skeleton.
rickets Deficiency in calcium and vitamin D found in early childhood that results in bone deformities, especially bowed legs.
rotation Moving around a central axis.
sacral Pertaining to the sacrum.
sacrum The five fused vertebrae that form a large flat bone in the upper buttock region.
scapula Also called the shoulder blade. An upper extremity bone.
scapular Pertaining to the scapula or shoulder blade.
scoliosis Abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.
short bone A type of bone that is roughly cube shaped. The carpals are short bones.
simple fracture Fracture with no open skin or wound.
sinus A hollow cavity within a bone.
skeletal muscle A voluntary muscle that is attached to bones by a tendon.
spasm A sudden, involuntary, strong muscle contraction.
spina bifida Congenital defect in the walls of the spinal canal in which the laminae of the vertebra do not meet or close. Results in membranes of the spinal cord being pushed through the opening. Can also result in other defects, such as hydrocephalus.
spinal fusion Surgical immobilization of adjacent vertebrae. This may be done for several reasons, including correction for a herniated disk.
spinal stenosis Narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the cord and nerves.
spiral fracture Fracture in an S-shaped spiral. It can be caused by a twisting injury.
spondylolisthesis The forward sliding of a lumbar vertebra over the vertebra below it.
spondylosis A degenerative condition of the vertebral column.
spongy bone The bony tissue found inside a bone. It contains cavities that hold red bone marrow. Also called cancellous bone.
sprain Pain and disability caused by trauma to a joint. A ligament may be torn in severe sprains.
sternal Pertaining to the sternum or breast bone.
sternum Also called the breast bone. It is part of the axial skeleton and the anterior attachment for ribs.
strain Trauma to muscle from excessive stretching or pulling.
supination Turn the palm or foot upward.
sutures The fibrous joints formed between the cranial bones.
synovial fluid The fluid secreted by a synovial membrane in synovial joint. It lubricates the joint and reduces friction.
synovial joint A freely moving joint that is lubricated by synovial fluid.
talipes Congenital deformity of the foot. Also referred to as a clubfoot.
tarsals The ankle bones in the lower extremity.
temporal bone A cranial bone.
tendinous Pertaining to a tendon.
tendon The strong connective tissue cords that attach skeletal muscles to bones.
tendonitis Inflammation of tendon.
tendoplasty Surgical repair of a tendon.
tendotomy Incision into a tendon.
tenodynia Pain in a tendon.
tenomyopathy Disease of tendons and muscles.
tenorrhaphy Suture a tendon.
thoracic vertebrae The 12 vertebrae in the chest region.
tibia Also called the shine bone. It is a lower extremity bone.
tibial Pertaining to the tibia or shin bone.
torticollis Severe neck spasms pulling the head to one side; commonly called wryneck or a crick in the neck.
total hip replacement (THR) Surgical reconstruction of a hip by implanting a prosthetic or artificial hip joint.
total knee replacement (TKR) Surgical reconstruction of a knee joint by implanting a prosthetic knee joint; also called total knee arthroplasty.
transverse fracture Complete fracture that is straight across the bone at right angles to the long axis of the bone.
trochanter The large blunt process that provides the attachment for tendons and muscles.
tubercles Small, rounded processes that provide the attachment for tendons and muscles.
tuberosity A large, rounded process that provides the attachment to tendons and muscles.
ulna One of the forearm bones in the upper extremity.
ulnar Pertaining to the ulna, one of the lower arm bones.
upper extremity (UE) The arm.
vertebral column The vertebral column is part of the axial skeleton. It is a column of 26 vertebra that forms the backbone and protects the spinal cord. It is divided into five sections: cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae, sacrum, and coccyx. Also called spinal column.
Vitamin D therapy Maintaining high blood levels of calcium in association with vitamin D helps maintain bone density and treats osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and rickets.
vomer bone A facial bone.
whiplash Injury to the bones in the cervical spine as a result of a sudden movement forward and backward of the head and neck. Can occur as result of a rear-end auto collision.
Yellow bone marrow Yellow bone marrow is located mainly in the center of the diaphysis of long bones. It contains mainly fat cells.
zygomatic bone A facial bone.