The section is intended to help define some of the words used in the patient educational material in this section.  I have tried to use both medical terms and the common terms together in the materials.  My experience is that patients want to learn the most about their particular problem and discuss it using appropriate terminology.  Our job at Pittsburgh Foot and Hand Center is to thoroughly educator patient's about their particular foot or ankle problem as well as the treatment options. Highly educated patients often achieve the best results.

Proximal:  toward the midline or center part of the body.  Away from the end of the hand or foot.

Distal:  towards the tip or away from the midline or center of the body.  Towards the fingers or toes.

Dorsal:  on the back of the hand, back of the body or top of the foot.

Palmar: on the palm side of the hand. also called volar

Plantar: on the bottom side of the foot or sole

Radial: on the side of the arm/wrist/hand towards the radius or thumb

Ulnar: on the side of the arm/wrist/hand towards the ulna or little finger

Lateral:  on the outside of the arm or leg

Medial:  on the inside of the arm or leg

Transverse: horizontal or across the axis of the arm/leg or bone

Longitudinal:  vertical for in-line with the axis of the arm/leg or bone

Oblique: running at an angle to the axis of the arm/leg or bone

Comminuted:  in multiple pieces

Tendon: A tough band-like structure that connects muscle to bone. it is made of collagen and covered by peritenon  or tenosynovium

Ligament: A tough band-like structure that connects bone the bone and is made of collagen

Periosteum: the tough soft tissue covering around bone

Tendinitis: inflammation (“itis”) or irritation of a  tendon

Tenosynovium: the slippery material covering a tendon inside of a tendon sheath or tunnel

Tenosynovitis: Inflammation or irritation of the tenosynovium

Arthritis: irritation or inflammation of a joint  (“arthros”- joint plus “itis”- inflammation)

Fusion:  the procedure where two bones are permanently fixed together, eliminating the joint between them

Osteotomy: the procedure of making a cut in the bone ,commonly to realign the bone.

ORIF:  open reduction and internal fixation- the procedure to make an incision, aligned a fracture and fix the pieces with pins or screws.