A few years ago, I was involved in putting together some Common Medical Terms related to Personal Injury for a company which specialised in legal claims. The company is no longer trading, so I decided to put the glossary of terms here for you to use. Feel free to duplicate it on your own website but please provide a credit (with a link back).
An injury brought forward by a number of months/years a symptom which would have developed in the absence of the injury
A condition which starts and ends quickly. A long- lasting condition is termed chronic.
A pain killer which as reduces inflammation
The fusion of a joint
Asbestos is a group of minerals with long, thin fibrous crystals. It is recognised that exposure to asbestos can have carcinogenic effects to the human body, especially the lungs.
Free of symptoms
Natural hollows in fibrous tissues lined by smooth cells and containing fluid. Situated at points where there is a pressure or friction. They try to allow fee movement without straining tissue.
Inflammation of bursa ( e.g. housemaid’s knee)
Relating to the hand, the bones of the hand
Relating to the neck part of the spine
Closed head injury (CHI)
The result of rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head during which the brain bounces off the inside of the skull
Fracture across the lower end of the radius (in the wrist)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is a short-term psychological treatment. CBT helps to change the way you think, feel and behave. CBT is particularly suitable for specific problems such as phobias, panic attacks, eating disorders and depression.
The cushion of cartilage between two vertebrae.
The displacement of a bone at a joint.
Relating to the back.
A pre-existing symptom made worse by the injury.
The straightening of a limb/joint.
The thigh bone
The smaller of the two bones in the lower leg
The bending of a joint.
A break, normally of a bone.
Inflammation of the medial epicondyle of the tendon at the elbow. ‘Tennis elbow’ is inflammation of the lateral epicondyle.
A localised collection of blood, a bruise.
The bone in the upper arm
The development of symptoms resulting from unconscious exaggeration by the patient. This is thought by most doctors to be far more common than deliberate malingering; also known as functional overlay. Psychosomatic pain or compensation neurosis. The last is used for a condition that is expected to resolve after the conclusion of a claim.
A response to injury denoted by the suffix ‘itis’. The cardinal signs are redness, heat, swelling and pain.
A wire or rod passed through bone and used to apply traction.
A strong steel nail that is inserted into the hollow canal of the femur or tibia to maintain position after fracture.
Hump in the vertebrae. In mild form can cause neck to lean forward and hunch.
Relating to a ligament which is band of fibrous tissue connecting bones or cartilages.
Relating to the lower back.
The deliberate pretending of symptoms or exaggerating them for advantage.
The failure of bones properly align after fracture resulting in deformity.
The procedure whereby a joint is moved to reduce or eliminate stiffness.
Semi–lunar cartilage as in wrist or knee joints.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
A detailed form of imaging without using radiation which can detect detailed soft tissue changes.
Pain felt in sensory nerve which can be as a result of injury to the nerve.
Disease involving joint cartilage.
Loss of bony tissue causing bones to become brittle and liable to fracture.
The knee cap.
A finger bone/bones.
The falling down or sinking of (a disc).
Post traumatic stress disorder – specific mental disorders following an accident or trauma
Localised areas of scar tissue attaching to the outer wall of the lung and are totally benign.
One of the two bones in the lower arm
The process of restoration of skills by a person who has had an illness or injury so as to regain maximum self-sufficiency and function in a normal or as near normal manner as possible. For example, rehabilitation after a stroke may help the patient walk again and speak clearly again.
The movement of the neck when turning the head left and right.
Parts of the body other than bones – usually muscles, ligaments etc.
A degenerative condition of the spine.
Sprains and strains
A collective term for muscle and ligament injuries.
A partial dislocation
Relating to the foot, bones of the foot.
Relating to the chest area as in thoracic spine.
The larger of the two bones in the lower leg.
Breach on surface of skin or membrane.
One of the two bones in the lower arm.
The nerve that supplies nerve fibers to the throat, larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus, and the intestinal tract as far as the transverse portion of the colon. The vagus nerve also brings sensory information back to the brain from the ear, tongue, pharynx, and larynx.
One of the 23 bones of the spine.
A soft tissue injury to the cervical spine (neck).
YAG laser surgery
The use of a YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser to carry out eye surgery.
Part of the temporal bone of the skull that forms the the cheek. The zygomatic bone is also known as the ‘zygomatic arch’.