Glossary of Medical Terms

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) - A primary stabilizing ligament within the center of the knee joint that prevents hyperextension and excessive rotation of the joint.

Arthroscopy - A surgical examination of the internal structures of a joint by viewing through and arthroscope. An arthroscopic procedure can be used to remove or repair damaged tissue or as a diagnostic procedure in order to inspect the extent of the damage or confirm diagnosis.

Bone Scan - An imaging procedure in which a radioactive-labeled substance is injected into the body to determine the status of a bone injury. A bone scan is particularly useful in diagnosing a stress fracture.

Chondromalacia - Roughening of the articular cartilage. Best known for the roughening on the underside of the patella, with can occur in any patellofemoral injury.

Contusion - A tissue injury caused by a direct blow. CT Scan - Use of a computer to produce a cross sectional view of the anatomical part being investigated from X-Ray data.

Dislocation - Complete displacement of joint surfaces.

Inflammation - The body's natural response to injury in which the involved site my display various degrees of pain, swelling, heat, redness and/or loss of function.

Intervertebral Disc - A flat, rounded plate between each vertebra of the spine. This disc consists of a thick fiberous ring that surrounds a soft gel-like interior. It functions as a cushion and shock absorber for the spinal column.

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) - Ligament on the outside aspect of the knee that connects the femur to the fibula and provides lateral stability to the joint.

Ligament - Band of fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone or bone to cartilage and supports and strengthens joints.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Imaging procedure in which a radio frequency pulse causes certain electrical elements of the injured tissue to react. MRI does not require radiation and is very useful in the diagnosis of soft tissue, disc, and meniscus injuries.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) - Ligament on the inside aspect of the knee that connects the femur to the tibia and provides medial stability to the joint.

Meniscectomy - An intra-articular surgical procedure of the knee by which all or part of the damaged meniscus is removed.

Meniscus - Crescent-shaped cartilage located within the knee that works to absorb weight and provide stability.

Metatarsals - Five long bones of the foot, running from the ankle to the toes.

Patella - The kneecap.

Patella Tendinitis - Inflammation of the patellar ligament associated with overuse of the knee from jumping and running; also known as jumper's knee.

Plantar Fasciitis - Inflammation of the plantar fascia (the tight band of connective tissue in the arch of the foot); associated with overuse or acute foot injuries.

Rotator Cuff - Group of four shoulder muscles responsible for moving the shoulder in internal and external rotation and assisting with overall shoulder stability.

Sciatica - Irritation of the sciatic nerve resulting in pain or tingling in the leg.

Sprain - A twisting, stretching, pulling or tearing of a ligament.

Strain - The stretching, pulling or twisting of a muscleor tendon

Stress Fracture - A hairline break in a bone usually caused by overuse.

Subluxation - Partial dislocation of a joint.

Tendinitis - Inflammation of the tendon and/or tendon sheath, usually caused by cronic overuse.

Tendon - Tissue that connects muscle to bone.