GlossaryGlossary

Acetabulum – Cup shaped socket of the hip joint which makes up part of the pelvis bone.

Arthritis – Inflammation in one or more joints in your body. The most common symptoms include joint stiffness and pain.

Arthroplasty – Surgical procedure to restore the motion and integrity of the joint.

Aseptic Loosening – When normal wear on a prosthetic joint produces microscopic debris particles and loosens the bond between the implant and the bone.

Artificial disc – A medical implant designed to replace a worn out disc.

Biological – Relating to life or living organisms. Natural to the body.

Blood vessel – Flexible tube that carries blood throughout the body.

Cartilage – Fibrous, white connective tissue found at the end of bones. The most common types of cartilage are hyaline cartilage, elastic cartilage and fibrocartilage. Cartilage cushions the joint and allows it to move freely and smoothly.

CT (Computerized Tomography) – A tool used by doctors that combines many x-ray images to create cross-sectional images (like slices) of the body.

Condyle – A rounded projection found at the end of bones.

Cross Linking – A chemical connection between two compounds.

Cup/Shell – (also referred to as shell) Prosthetic which is most commonly a metal material replicates the function of the acetabular in the hip.

Degeneration – The breakdown or deterioration of tissue.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) – Back pain related to the breakdown or deterioration of a disc which is confirmed by patient history, physical examination, and imaging studies (like x-rays, CT, and/or MRI).

Direct Anterior Approach (DAA) – A minimally invasive surgical approach in total hip arthroplasty that involves a small (3-6 inch) incision on the front of the hip. Unlike traditional total hip arthroplasty, direct anterior approach moves to the side the supporting muscles of the hip and does not require detaching any tendons. Not all patients are candidates for DAA and not all hip implants can accommodate this approach.

Disc – The soft tissue found between the bones of the spine (vertebrae) that helps to hold the vertebrae apart, cushion the spine, and allow the vertebrae to move relative to one another.

Facet joint – Joints that connect the bones of the spine (vertebrae) together in the back and slide against one another during motion.

Femur – Thigh bone.

Fluoroscopy – Type of x-ray used to take moving pictures of a body part.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Part of the United States government. One of the FDA’s jobs is to help protect people who need medicine or medical implants. The FDA also helps decide which medical implants can be used and how they can be used.

Fusion – When two bones grow together so that they no longer move.

Heterotopic ossification – Unintended bone growth around the bones of the spine (vertebrae) or across the disc space between the vertebrae.

Implant – A device that is put in the body to fix or take the place of a damaged body part.

Incision – A cut in the skin made during surgery.

Joint – Where two or more bones meet, normally to allow movement.

Ligament – A short strip of strong, flexible soft tissue that connects two bones.

Liner – A liner fits into the cup in a total hip replacement and is typically composed of a hard plastic material and is the bearing surface in the total hip replacement.

Long-Term Survivorship (Fixation & Stability) – Terminology used to describe an endpoint or failure of an implant. Fixation and stability are two principles which aid in the longevity of an implant.

Lordosis – The normal curve of the lumbar area of the spine (low back).

Lumbar discectomy – A surgical procedure in which part or all of a degenerated lumbar disc is removed.

Lumbar spine – The lower part of the spine that may be involved in low back pain. There are five spinal bones (vertebrae) in the lumbar spine, and they are numbered from L1 to L5 starting from the top of the lumbar spine.

Minimally Invasive Surgery – A less invasive surgery with shorter incisions and sometimes instruments and approaches that attempt to retain surrounding soft tissue. The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to reduce hospital stay, pain and regain mobility quicker.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – A tool used by doctors that uses magnets to create cross-sectional images (like slices) of the body.

Nerves – Fibers that move messages to and from the brain. Nerves control feeling and movement. Nerves connect the skin, organs, and muscles through the spinal cord to the brain.

Nucleus pulposus – The soft center of a disc.

Osteopenia – A condition in which the bones are somewhat thin or weak, resulting from a loss of calcium, which may cause problems during surgery and may develop into osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis – A condition in which the bones are thin and weak and may become brittle and fragile which may cause problems during surgery.

Oxidation – When oxygen molecules are introduced and interacts with the femur and protects the surface of the knee joint.

Patella – The kneecap. It is a triangular shape bone that interacts with the femur and protects the surface of the knee joint.

Physical Therapy (PT) – Using exercise and massage to help regain strength and movement.

Polyethylene – (also referred to as Poly, PE). A hard, smooth plastic material designed to allow articulating surfaces move smoothly throughout the range of motion.

Prolapse (slipped disc) – When part of the disc overlaps the outside of the spinal bones (vertebrae) and presses on the spinal cord or nerves that are branching out from the spinal cord.

Skeletal muscle – The type of muscle that powers movement of the body.

Soft tissue – Connects, supports, or surrounds the organs and other structures of the body.

Spinal canal – Hole in each of the spinal bones (vertebrae) that surrounds and protects the spinal cord.

Spinal cord – Bundle of spinal nerves. The spinal cord starts at the bottom of the brain and runs down to the lower back. The spinal cord moves messages between the brain and the body.

Spine – The 33 vertebrae starting under the skull and ending in the lower back. Grouped into sections: cervical (upper), thoracic (middle), lumbar (lower), sacral (sacrum) and coccyx (tailbone). Protects the spinal cord and provides body support.

Spondylolisthesis – A spinal bone (vertebra) that has moved out of place relative to the other bones.

Stem – In a total hip replacement, a long, slim metal implant, of varying lengths, is inserted into the top of the hollowed out femur (thigh bone). The purpose of the stem is to replace the function of the femoral head and replicate the natural motion of the ball and socket joint.

Surgery – An operation on the body to fix, remove, or replace diseased or injured tissue.

Tendons – Strong, white tissue that connects muscles to bone.

Tibia – Also known as the shin bone. It’s the larger, stronger of the of the two lower leg ones below the knee. In a knee replacement the upper portion of the tibia is replaced with a prosthesis.

Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) – Surgical replacement of the hip joint with a prosthesis.

Total Knee Replacement (TKA) – Surgical replacement of the knee joint with a prosthesis.

Total Revision Surgery – Surgical replacement of part or all of the failed implants from a total joint replacement.

Unicondylar Knee Replacement (UKA) – (also referred to as unicompartmental knee replacement) Surgical replacement of only one compartment or condyle in the knee.

Vertebrae – The bones that form the spine with a hole for the spinal cord to pass through.

Vitamin E – A fat soluble nutrient commonly found in foods. In the body it acts as an antioxidant which protects the cells against free radicals.

X-ray – A tool used by doctors to take a picture of a patient’s bones.