What is Orthopaedic Surgery?

An Orthopaedic surgeon is a medical specialist devoted to the diagnosis, treatment , and prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

An Orthopaedic Surgeon treats patients of all ages, from...more



Press Release

Richard Rosa, MD Performs the First, Individualized, Total Knee Replacement Surgery in New Jersey at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

(Livingston, NJ) Richard Rosa, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon with The Joint Institute at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, is the first physician in New Jersey to implant the iTotal CR total knee replacement…more

Orthopaedic Terminology

General Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

the ligament located in the center of the knee; controls the forward motion of the tibia (“leg bone”) on the femur (“thigh bone”).

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prefix meaning of, or pertaining, to a joint.

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inflammation of a joint; has many forms; Osteoarthritis (“wear and tear”), Rheumatoid (autoimmune), Septic (caused by bacteria in a joint), etc.

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refers to pathology to, or destruction of, a joint, independent of the presence of pain, inflammation, or any other symptoms.

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an x-ray to view bony structures following an injection of a contrast fluid into a joint area. When the fluid leaks into an area that it does not belong, disease or injury may be considered, as a leak would provide evidence of a tear, opening, or blockage.

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a minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube (arthroscope) that is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen; various arthroscopic instruments can be inserted into the joint to address the pathology within.

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a lubricating sac filled with fluid located between a bone and a tendon or muscle.

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small, repetitive stresses and overuse that cause the bursa to swell and become irritated and inflamed.

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an inflammation and thickening of the bursa in the joint of the big toe.

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a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, a narrow confined space. Since the median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and three middle fingers, many symptoms may result, including pain and numbness.

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a smooth material that covers bone ends of a joint to cushion the bone and allow the joint to move easily and smoothly without pain.

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a cast holds broken bone in place as it heals, prevents, or decreases muscle contractures, or provides immobilization, especially after surgery. Casts immobilize the joint above and the joint below the area that is to be kept straight and without motion. Usually made of either plaster or fiberglass.

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generic term used to define damage to articular cartilage.

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“Computed (Automated) Tomography” a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays. In general, a CT scan is actually superior to MRI when an orthopaedist is concerned with bony injuries.

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bruise, usually the result of blunt trauma to soft tissues.

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a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone on the inside of the elbow.

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a dislocation occurs when extreme force is put on a joint causing the two bones that make up the joint to separate or lose the normal anatomic relationship they have with each other. A subluxation is the abnormal motion of a joint that is less than a complete dislocation; an unstable joint will “sublux” before it dislocates.

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a test to evaluate nerve and muscle function from the standpoint of assessing the electrical activity inherent to normal nerve function. Often done in conjunction with a N.C.V., or nerve conduction velocity test. In this test, the nerve is electrically stimulated while a second electrode detects the electrical impulse ‘down stream’ from the first. The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to calculate the speed of impulse transmission (nerve conduction velocity). A decreased speed of transmission indicates nerve disease.

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a chronic, generalized pain in muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body.

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a disruption of a part of the bony skeleton (synonymous with “break”)

  • Closed fracture: the skin overlying the fracture is intact
  • Open fracture: there is an opening in the skin overlying the fracture (previously known as a “compound” fracture)
  • Avulsion fracture: forceful tendon or muscle contraction pulls off (avulses) a portion of bone to which it is attached
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    non-cancerous, fluid filled cysts commonly seen in the hand and usually found on the back of the wrist.

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    a result of a defect in body chemistry that causes materials normally found in dissolved form in the blood to crystallize and become deposited in a joint. Can be severely painful. Usually treated effectively with medication and dietary changes.

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    a bone growth on the calcaneus (“heel bone”); very commonly found on foot or ankle x-rays and do not necessarily represent a pathologic or symptomatic process.

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    the bone of the upper arm.

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    a normal reaction to injury or disease, which results in swelling, pain, and stiffness. Can be normal and physiologic as in “the inflammatory phase of fracture/wound healing” or abnormal and pathologic as in “an inflamed appendix” or arthritis.

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    where two or more bones come together and the point at which motion occurs.

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    the ligament that gives stability to the outer aspect of the knee.

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    “tennis elbow,” pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm (wrist extension).

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    Tough cord of tissue connecting bone to bone.

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    a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. Most sensitive and accurate imaging test for soft tissues.

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    the ligament that gives stability to the inner aspect of the knee.

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    “golfer’s elbow,” pain caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm (wrist flexion).

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    two crescent-shaped discs of connective tissue between the bones of the knees that act as shock absorbers to cushion the lower part of the leg from the weight of the rest of the body. Very commonly injured.

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    benign growth of a nerve that causes pain, usually between the third and fourth toes.

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    involves the injection of a dye or contrast material into the spinal canal; a specific x-ray study that also allows careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots.

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    a condition caused by wear and tear that causes inflammation of the joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. A degenerative condition.

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    a deep bone infection, note: when an orthopaedist says that a patient has “osteo” they are usually referring to this, not osteoarthritis etc.

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    a condition that develops when bone is no longer replaced as quickly as it is removed, leading to an overall decrease in bone density and strength.

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    injuries due to minor but highly repetitious trauma involving the musculoskeletal system, i.e. an athlete with shoulder bursitis from pitching.

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    a long band of connecting tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. Commonly inflamed and a source of pain.

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    the ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia (“shin bone”) on the femur (“thigh bone”).

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    an artificial body part replacement.

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    a nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.

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    the shorter of the two bones of the forearm.

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    an inflammatory disease that involved the lining of the joint (synovium). The inflammation often affects the joints of the hands and the feet and tends to occur equally on both sides of the body.

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    rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Standard treatment protocol to address the acute inflammation of an injury.

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    a lateral, or sideways, curvature and rotation of the back bones (vertebrae), giving the appearance that the person is leaning to one side.

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    damage to one of two groups of muscles along the shin bone that cause pain.

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    injury to a muscle or tendon.

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    a bone injury caused by overuse.

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    a clear, sticky fluid that is released by the synovial membrane and acts as a lubricant for joints and tendons.

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    tough cord of tissue connecting muscle to bone.

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    an inflammation in a tendon or the tendon covering.

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    shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.

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    an irritation of the digital sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons of the finger. When the tendon sheath becomes thickened or swollen it pinches the tendon and prevents it from gliding smoothly. In some cases, the tendon catches and then suddenly releases as though a trigger were released.

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    the longer of the two bones in the forearm.

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    a diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. Often referred to as a “Doppler”.

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    diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of the internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.

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