Orthopedic Terms

Here are some commonly used terms that you may hear in the Orthopedic marketplace.

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) This is the ligament that connects the back of the femur to the front of the tibia.

ACL Tear - An ACL injury can cause small tears of the ligament, a separation of the ligament and part of the bone from the rest of the bone, a separation of the ligament from the upper or lower leg bone or a complete tear of the ligament. When any of these take place, the lower leg bone moves abnormally on the upper bone, giving an impression of the knee buckling.

Contusion - An injury resulting in a bruise but not broken skin. This results in inflammation, tenderness and pain.

LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) - The ligament which connects the femur to the fibula.

LCL Tear - An LCL injury is a result of varus stress ( a pushing from the inside outward) placed on the ligament from the inside, which forces the knee to shift to the outside. The indications that you have sustained ann MCL or LCL injury may be hearing or feeling a "pop", usually followed by the knee buckling, resulting in immediate swelling.

MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) - The ligament which connects the femur to the tibia.

MCL Tear - An MCL injury results mainly from a jolt to the outside of the knee. An MCL injury can occur from valgus stress, which means that the knee is pushed inward.

Patella - Commonly referred to as the kneecap.

Patella Tendon - Connects the patella and the quad muscle or shinbone.

PCL (Posterior Crusciate Ligament) - The ligament which crosses and connects the back of the tibia to the front of the femur.

Quadraceps - The large four-part extensor muscle at the front of the thigh. The quadriceps allows for the extention of the knee joint.

Sprain - A sprain is the result of an injury to a ligament, usually caused by overuse, trauma, a stretch or a tear.

Sprain Treatment - Sprains may be treated in a variety of methods, including cold therapy, resting and elevating the sprained joint. Anti-inflammatory medicines may also be used. If the sprain is severe, support bracing may be indicated, depending on the particular joint which is sprained. This therapy may help in preventing re-injury. It is usually advised that activity be resumed in a gradual manner. When activity is resumed, cold treatment applied after the activity may help to reduce recurrent inflammation. In the cases of severe sprains it is strongly recommended that you get an evaluation from your physician. Depending on the severity of the injury, your Doctor may recommend orthopaedic surgery.

Strain - A strain is due to overuse or over stretching of a muscle or tendon, resulting in pain, swelling and tenderness.

Tendonitis - Tendonitis is the result of inflammation of a tendon.

Tendon - Tendons are tough connective fibers that connect muscle to bone.