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Personal Injury Medical Terms Demystified

personal injury claim

WLF Personal Injury Attorney Clears the Confusion

Legal processes can be mystifying to most people. To add to the complexity, many a personal injury attorney often use terms that can leave you scratching your head. Here are some common personal injury medical terms that you need to know if you are in the process of filing a personal injury claim.

  • Abduction: Pulling away a body part from the midline axis or center of the body. Muscles that perform this function are called abductors.
  • Abscess: A concentration of pus (made largely of white blood cells) in a part of the body indicating an infection.
  • Adduction: Opposite of abduction. Movement of body parts to the center of the body. Muscles that Muscles that perform this function are called adductors.
  • Arthroplasty: A surgical procedure to reconstruct or replace a damaged joint.
  • Arthroscope: An instrument used to inspect or operate the interior of a joint.
  • Articulation: A place where two or bones comes together.
  • Atrophy: A decrease in size or wasting away of a tissue or organ due to non-use or insufficient blood flow.
  • Blood pressure: The pressure exerted by the blood against the veins and arteries when flowing from the heart.
  • Brain scan: A scan of the brain to identify the cerebral blood flow and to detect intracranial masses, tumors, lesions and infarcts. CT scan (or CAT scan) and MRI are the two methods of brain scans.
  • C-Spine series: A series of x-rays of the neck to diagnose abnormalities and injuries of the bones and soft tissues of the cervical spine.
  • Carotid artery: Either of the two large blood vessels located on each side of the head. These arteries carry blood to the head.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A numbing and painful condition caused by the pressure exerted by the median nerve running through the wrist.
  • Cephalgia: Pain in the head caused by muscle contractions or dilation of cerebral arteries.
  • Coccyx: Another name for tailbone, the lowest part of the spine.
  • Comminuted fracture: A break or splinter of a bone into multiple fragments.
  • Compound fracture: A fracture of a bone causing the bone to protrude out of the skin.
  • Concussion: A condition caused by a blow to the head resulting in unconsciousness or confusion.
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): A clinical syndrome of an unknown cause and variable course characterized by swelling, pain and vasomotor dysfunction of an extremity.
  • Contusion: An area of the skin where the blood capillaries have ruptured. A bruise.
  • Cyst: A cavity or membranous sac of abnormal character filled with fluid.
  • Diskectomy: A surgical procedure to remove damaged portions of a herniated disk in the spine.
  • Effusion: The escape of a fluid from anatomical vessels due to rupture or exudation.
  • Embolism: Obstruction of an artery, typically by a clot of blood or an air bubble.
  • Epidural: The space inside the spinal column between the vertebral canal and the dura (membrane that covers the spinal cord).
  • Fistula: An abnormal or surgically created passage between organs and the outer layer of the skin, usually to drain out pus from an abscess.
  • Flexion: A bending movement around a joint in a limb, such as the knee and elbow.
  • Fracture: A rupture of the bone.
  • Hematoma: A solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues.
  • Hernia: A condition in which part of an organ protrudes through the wall of the cavity containing it.
  • Herniated Nucleus Pulposis (HNP): A condition in which part or all of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation.
  • Hypertension: Abnormally high blood pressure.
  • Hypotension: Abnormally low blood pressure.
  • Hypoxia: Deficiency in oxygen supply the tissues.
  • Infarction: Obstruction of the blood supply to an organ or region of tissue causing death of the local tissue.
  • Intervertebral: Located between vertebrae.
  • Ischemia: An inadequate supply of blood to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles.
  • Laparotomy: A surgical incision into the abdominal cavity, either for diagnosis or to prepare for a major surgery.
  • Lesion: A region in an organ or tissue which has been damaged by injury or disease.
  • Lordosis: An excessive inward curvature of the spine.
  • Meninges: The three membranes (the dura mater, pia mater and arachnoid,) that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  • Myelogram: An s-ray of the spinal canal after injecting it with a dye to assess the nerve roots.
  • Necrosis: The death of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply.
  • Neuralgia: Intense pain along the course of a nerve, especially in the head or face.
  • Occipital: Of or relating to the occipitalbone in the back of the head.
  • Open reduction: The surgical procedure to repair a fracture by repositioning the pieces of the bone.
  • Orthopedics: The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and correction of deformities of bones or muscles.
  • Osteoarthritis: Degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, causing pain and stiffness in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.
  • Osteomyelitis: Inflammation of bone and bone marrow, usually caused by infection.
  • Paravertebral: Situated, occurring or performed beside or adjacent to the spinal column.
  • Paraplegia: Paralysis of the lower body and legs, usually caused by spinal injury or disease.
  • Phalanges: Bones of the fingers or toes.
  • Plasma: The colorless fluid part of blood, lymph, or milk, in which corpuscles or fat globules are suspended.
  • Quadriplegia: Paralysis of all four limbs.
  • Radiculopathy: A set of conditions that impair the functions of one or more nerves (a neuropathy).
  • Range of motion: The ability of a body part such as a hand to move around an axis, measured in degrees.
  • Resection: A surgical procedure to remove a portion of an organ.
  • Spondylitis: Inflammation of the spinal vertebrae.
  • Whiplash: Trauma caused to the muscles and bones of the neck (cervical spine) by a sudden back and forth movement of the head. If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you explore your legal options.
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