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