Additional Medical Terms-musculoskeletal system - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

The following are additional terms related to the musculoskeletal system. Recognizing and learning these terms will help you understand the connection between a pathological condition, its diagnosis, and the rationale behind the method of treatment selected for a particular disorder.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diseases

Muscular Disorders

muscular dystrophy:

Group of hereditary diseases characterized by gradual atrophy and weakness of muscle tissue

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, Duchenne dystrophy is the most common form with an average lifespan of 20 yrs.

myasthenia gravis (MG):

Autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by severe muscular weakness and progressive fatigue

rotator cuff injuries:

Injuries to the capsule of the shoulder joint, which is reinforced by muscles and tendons; also called musculotendinous rotator cuff injuries

Rotator cuff injuries occur in sports in which there is a complete abduction of the shoulder, followed by a rapid and forceful rotation and flexion of the shoulder. (See Figure Body movements generated by muscles.)This type of injury occurs most commonly in baseball injuries when the player throws a baseball.


Trauma to a joint that causes injury to the surrounding ligament, accompanied by pain and disability


Trauma to a muscle from overuse or excessive forcible stretch


Congenital deformity of the foot; also called clubfoot (See Figure Talipes equinovarus.)

In talipes, the heel never rests on the ground.Treatment consists of applying casts to progressively straighten the foot and surgical correction for severe cases.


Inflammation of a tendon, usually caused by injury or overuse; also called tendonitis


Spasmodic contraction of the neck muscles, causing stiffness and twisting of the neck; also called wryneck

Torticollis may be congenital or acquired.

Bones and Joints:

carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS):

Pain or numbness resulting from compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel (wrist canal through which the flexor tendons and median nerve pass)

Talipes equinovarus.

Talipes equinovarus.


Fibrosis of connective tissue in the skin, fascia, muscle, or joint capsule that prevents normal mobility of the related tissue or joint


Grating sound made by movement of bone ends rubbing together, indicating a fracture or joint destruction

Ewing sarcoma:

Malignant tumor that develops from bone marrow, usually in long bones or the pelvis

Ewing sarcoma occurs most commonly in adolescent boys.


Hereditary metabolic disease that is a form of acute arthritis, characterized by excessive uric acid in the blood and around the joints

herniated disk:

Herniation or rupture of the nucleus pulposus (center gelatinous material within an intervetebral disk) between two vertebrae; also called prolapseddisk (See Figure Herniated disk.)

A herniated disk places pressure on a spinal root nerve or the spinal cord.Displacement of the disk irritates the spinal nerves, causing muscle spasms and pain. It occurs most commonly in the lower spine.


Decrease in bone density with an increase in porosity, causing bones to become brittle and increasing the risk of fractures

Herniated disk.

Herniated disk.

Paget disease:

Skeletal disease affecting elderly people that causes chronic inflammation of bones, resulting in thickening and softening of bones and bowing of long bones; also called osteitisdeformans

rheumatoid arthritis (RA):

Chronic, systemic inflammatory disease affecting the synovial membranes of multiple joints, eventually resulting in crippling deformities (See Figure Rheumatoid arthritis.)

As RA develops, there is congestion and edema of the synovial membrane and joint, causing formation of a thick layer of granulation tissue. This tissue invades cartilage, destroying the joint and bone. Eventually, a fibrous immobility of joints (ankylosis) occurs, causing visible derformities and total immobility.


Partial or complete dislocation

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

Spinal Disorders:

ankylosing spondylitis:

Chronic inflammatory disease of unknown origin that first affects the spine and is characterized by fusion and loss of mobility of two or more vertebrae; also called rheumatoid spondylitis

Treatment includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs and, in advanced cases of a badly deformed spine, surgery.


Increased curvature of the thoracic region of the vertebral column, leading to a humpback posture; also called hunchback

Kyphosis may be caused by poor posture, arthritis, or osteomalacia. (See Figure Spinal curvatures.)

Spinal curvatures.

Spinal curvatures.


Forward curvature of lumbar region of the vertebral column, leading to a swayback posture

Lordosis may be caused by increased weight in the abdomen, such as during pregnancy. (See Figure Spinal curvatures.)


Abnormal sideward curvature of the spine to the left or right

Scoliosis eventually causes back pain, disk disease, or arthritis. It is commonly a congenital disease, but may result from poor posture. (See Figure Spinal curvatures.)


Partial forward dislocation of one vertebra over the one below it, most commonly the fifth lumbar vertebra over the first sacral vertebra; also called spinal cord compression

Diagnostic Procedures:


Puncture of a joint space with a needle to remove fluid

Arthrocentesis is performed to obtain samples of synovial fluid for diagnostic purposes. It may also be used to instill medications and remove accumulated fluid from joints to relieve pain.

rheumatoid factor:

Blood test to detect the presence of rheumatoid factor, a substance present in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Medical and Surgical Procedures:


Surgical reconstruction or replacement of a painful, degenerated joint to restore mobility in rheumatoid or osteoarthritis or to correct a congenital deformity (See Figure Total hip arthroplasty.)


Excision of a sequestrum (segment of necrosed bone)

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