Click on a term to display its glossary definition here.

 
glossary term: the small green square ( ) indicates a medical term with a glossary entry

 
abduction: to draw away from the middle of the body or limb

 
adduction: to draw toward the middle of the body or limb

 
anterior: front

 
antigravity: refers to strength required to lift part of one's body against gravity

 
arthrodesis: surgical immobilization of a joint so bones grow together

 
avulsion: separation or detachment

 
axilla: armpit

 
axon: nerve cell that conducts impulses

 
axonotmesis: interruption of the axons of a nerve without destruction of the nerve's supporting structure

 
biceps: large muscle on front of upper arm

 
brachial: relating to the arm

 
brachial plexus: nerve network controlling movement and sensation in the arm

 
brachial plexus palsy: weakened or paralyzed muscles in the arm, shoulder, and hand caused by birth injury to the brachial plexus

 
brachioradialis: muscle that flexes forearm

 
cervical: relating to neck

 
clavicle: collarbone

 
connective tissue: tissue such as tendons and ligaments that support or bind other tissues

 
contractures: shortening of a muscle that produces deformity

 
coracobrachialis: upper arm muscle that bends the elbow

 
CT myelography: imaging of the spinal cord using computerized analysis of cross-sectional scans (tomograms) after injection of a contrast agent into the spinal fluid

 
deltoid: muscle that covers shoulder joint and lifts arm to the side

 
diaphragm: the partition of muscle and connective tissue between the chest and abdomen

 
distal: away from the middle

 
dystocia: difficult childbirth

 
electromyography: measurement of electrical activity in muscle

 
extension: movement at joint that increases angle between bones on either side

 
flex; flexion: movement at joint that decreases angle between bones on either side

 
graft: surgical implant of living tissue

 
humeral head: top of the long bone of the upper arm where it joins shoulder

 
humerus: long bone of the upper arm

 
innervation: supply of nerve fibers

 
lateral: side

 
latissimus dorsi: broad muscle of the back

 
medial, median: middle

 
microsurgical nerve grafting: surgical implantation of nerve tissue using operating microscope to work on very small structures

 
microsurgery: surgery performed on small structures magnified by a microscope

 
MRI: magnetic resonance imaging; a noninvasive diagnostic technique that produces electronic images of atomic and molecular structures in internal tissues

 
multidisciplinary: involving several areas of medical science and practice

 
musculocutaneous: relating to both muscle and skin

 
nerve action potential: change in electric potential of a nerve when it is stimulated

 
nerve grafting: surgical implantation of nerve tissue

 
nerve receptor: specialized cell or nerve endings that respond to sensory stimuli

 
neurology: the scientific study of the nervous system

 
neurolysis: destruction of nerve tissue, or freeing of nerve from inflammatory adhesions

 
neuroma: excessive scar tissue in a damaged nerve

 
neurophysiology: the scientific study of the functioning of the nervous system

 
neuropraxia: condition in which conduction is blocked at a point in the nerve but is
present above and below that point

 
neurosurgery: surgery involves nerves, spinal cord, and brain

 
neurotization: surgical connection of two nerves

 
neurotmesis: complete division of a nerve

 
nonneural: not relating to nerve tissue

 
occupational therapy: activities prescribed to promote recovery and rehabilitation

 
orthopaedics: branch of medicine concerned with correction of skeletal deformities

 
osseous: relating to bone

 
osteotomy: cutting of a bone

 
palsy: muscular weakness or paralysis

 
pathogenesis: the origin of a disease

 
pectoralis major: major muscle of the chest

 
peripheral nerves: cranial nerves, spinal nerves, and autonomic nervous system (i.e., nerves outside the central nervous system)

 
phrenic: relating to the diaphragm

 
physical therapy: treatment by physical and mechanical means, e. g., exercises

 
plexus: network of nerves

 
plication: fold, process of folding, or state of being folded

 
pneumothorax: air in the chest cavity from injury to the lung

 
posterior: back

 
prevalence: percentage of a population with a certain disease at a given time

 
proprioceptive: relating to perception of movement and other sensations within one's own body

 
radial: relating to the radius, or forearm bone on the side of the thumb

 
radius: forearm bone on the side of the thumb

 
resection: surgical removal

 
respiration: breathing

 
rupture: break or tear in tissue

 
subclavian: below the clavicle

 
subscapularis: muscle in the shoulder area that rotates arm

 
supination: rotation of forearm and hand so that palm faces forward or upward, and corresponding rotation of lower leg and foot

 
sural: relating to calf of leg

 
thoracic: relating to chest

 
traction: forceful pulling

 
trapezius: muscle of upper back

 
triceps: muscle along back of upper arm

 
ulnar: relating to the ulna, or forearm bone on the side of the little finger