Personal Injury Medical Terms

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Medical Terms Often Seen in Medical Documents Related to Traumatic Injury:

Often, after an injury, you read the doctor’s report to see what he says your injury is/was, and it may seem like it was written in Latin. They don’t use everyday terms to describe your injury in their medical records and reports. I’ve compiled a list, and will update it periodically, of injuries and terms used for those injuries, along with an explanation of what that terminology typically means – along with a few examples.

The best way to understand what is wrong with you is to talk with your medical provider / doctor. Medical terms are used on reports – and often they seem to speak for themselves, but usually its best to ask your doctor directly what the terms mean that have been written down – especially if you don’t completely understand what was written.

Term Seen in Medical Reports in Injury Cases:

  • ACL Tear – Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear in the knee. Knee ligament tear of ligament needed for stability in knee.
  • Acute injury – Back sprain or strain
  • Adrenal – Example: Adrenal hemorrhage
  • Amnestic – Example: Concussion – amnestic to event
  • Anterior –
    1. Example: Bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
    2. Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
    3. Example: C2-3 – 3-4mm disc herniation slightly contacts the right anterior spinal cord
  • Anterolateral – Example: Anterolateral proximal tibia
  • Anterolisthesis – Example: Anterolisthesis Mild grade I
  • Arthritis – Example: Severe arthritis in knee
  • Aspiration – Example: Aspirated about 40 cc of cloudy appearing synovial fluid
  • Bilateral – Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar spine
  • Blepharochalasis – (inflamation of eyelid)
  • Blowout – Example: Localized blowout fracture of left orbital floor
  • Blunt – Example: Blunt trauma chest-wall pain
  • Bone bruises – Example: Bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
  • Bone Spurs –
  • Branch Blocks – Example: Cervical injections & branch blocks
  • Brevis Tendons – Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • Bruised lung
  • Bulging –
    1. Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
    2. Example: Small Disc Bulge at L5-S1
    3. Example: Bulging lumbar discs on CT exam C2-3 – Example: C2-3 – 3-4mm disc herniation slightly contacts the right anterior spinal cord
  • Carpal Canal – Example: Inflammatory change in carpal and Guyon’s canal
  • Carpal Navicular – Example: Fracture carpal navicular left wrist
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Carpi Radialis – Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • Cervical –
    1. Example: Cervical Sprain, Cervical Strain
    2. Example: Cervical injections & branch blocks
  • Cervical fracture
  • Cervical Injections – Example: Cervical injections & branch blocks
  • Cervical lordosis –
    1. Example: Reversal of the cervical lordosis
    2. Example: Straightening of cervical lordosis
    3. Example: Abnormal straightening of cervical lordosis
  • Cervicobrachial Syndrome
  • Collateral – Example: Sprain medial collateral ligament
  • Complications – Example: Risk of complications
  • Concussion –
    1. Example: Post concussion syndrome
    2. Example: Neuropsychological evaluation concussion
    3. Example: Concussion – amnestic to event
  • Condyles –
    1. Example: Bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
    2. Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
  • Consciousness – Example: Loss of consciousness
  • Contusion –
    1. Example: Marrow contusion
    2. Example: Seatbelt chest contusion
    3. Example: Renal contusion
    4. Example: Pulmonary contusions
    5. Example: Lung contusion
  • CT exam – Example: Bulging lumbar discs on CT exam
  • Curvature convex – Example: Mild lumbar curvature convex to the left
  • Diabetes issues
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Diffusely – Example: Diffusely tender under the knee
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Disc –
    1. Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
    2. Example: Small Disc Bulge at L5-S1
    3. Example: Bulging lumbar discs on CT exam
  • Discal – Example: Left paracentral discal substance protrusion/herniation
  • Discectomy – Example: Laminectomy/Discectomy
  • Dislocation
  • Dorsal –
    1. Example: Mild tenosynovitis of extensor digitorum/indicis tendons dorsal to the wrist
    2. Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • Ecchymotic – Example: Abrasion ecchymotic (purple bruising)
  • Edema –
    1. Example: Edema left eye
    2. Example: Edema (fluid) in knee from trauma
  • Effacing – Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
  • Effusion – Example: Examination of rt knee shows large joint effusion
  • Elevated – Example: Elevated signal in shoulder
  • Entrapment – Example: Inferior herniation of extraconal fat and possible entrapment of left inferior rectus
  • Epicondylitis – Example: Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Examination – Example: Examination of rt knee shows large joint effusion
  • Extension – Example: range of motion is 10 degrees full extension and around 80 degrees flexion
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus – Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • Extensor Digitorum / Indicis Tendons – Example: Mild tenosynovitis of extensor digitorum/indicis tendons dorsal to the wrist
  • Extraconal – Example: Inferior herniation of extraconal fat and possible entrapment of left inferior rectus
  • Facial – Example: facial-head-nasal abrasions
  • Femoral –
    1. Example: bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
    2. Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
  • Fenestration – Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
  • Flexion –
    1. Example: Pronounced with flexion
    2. Example: Range of motion is 10 degrees full extension and around 80 degrees flexion
  • Fibula
  • Fracture –
    1. Example: Localized blowout fracture of left orbital floor
    2. Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
    3. Example: Fracture carpal navicular left wrist
    4. Example: Cervical fracture
  • Functional Capacity evaluation –
  • Gamekeepers Fracture –
  • Guyon’s Canal – Example: Inflammatory change in carpal and Guyon’s canal
  • Headaches
  • Hemorrhage – Example: Adrenal hemorrhage
  • Herniation – Examples:
    1. Back or Neck: C2-3 – 3-4mm disc herniation slightly contacts the right anterior spinal cord
    2. Orbital: Orbital floor Fx fissure w soft tissue swelling and herniation of fat into the defect
    3. L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
    4. Left paracentral discal substance protrusion/herniation
  • Horns – Example: Grade 1 changes to posterior horns of menisci – but not torn
  • Hypermobility – Example: Hypermobility suggestive of cervical strain
  • Impingement – Example: Impingement left shoulder
  • ICH
  • Inferior –
    1. Example: Inferior herniation of extraconal fat and possible entrapment of left inferior rectus
    2. Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
  • Inferior Radioulnar Recess – Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
  • Inflammatory or Inflammation – Example: Inflammatory change in carpal and Guyon’s canal
  • Infrahilar – Example: Right infrahilar stranding
  • Injections – Example: Cervical injections & branch blocks
  • Intersection of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus – Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • Interspinious ligamentous regions
  • Intervertebral disc syndrome
  • Kidney Laceration – Example: Kidney laceration
  • Knee injury –
    1. Example: MCL tear, probably grade 3
    2. Example: ACL tear
    3. Example: Edema (fluid) in knee from trauma
    4. Example: Hinge knee brace
  • L2-3 – Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
  • L3-4 – Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
  • L4-5 – Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
  • L5-S1 –
    1. Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
    2. Example: Small Disc Bulge at L5-S1
  • Laceration –
    1. Example: Liver laceration grade II
    2. Example: Kidney laceration
  • Laminectomy – Example: Laminectomy/Discectomy
  • Lateral –
    1. Example: Lateral list of thoracic spine suggestive of muscle spasm
    2. Example: Bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
    3. Example: Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Ligament –
    1. Example: Sprain medial collateral ligament
    2. Example: ACL
  • Liver laceration –
    1. Example: Liver laceration grade II – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_injury – covers 10-50% of surface area, 1-3cm in depth
  • Localized – Example: Localized blowout fracture of left orbital floor
  • Lumbago
  • Lumbar –
    1. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar spine
    2. Example: Bulging lumbar discs on CT exam
  • Lumbar Strain –
  • Lumbosacral
  • Lung contusion
  • Marrow – Example: Marrow contusion
  • Maxillary – Example: Maxillary sinus hemorrhage left
  • Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) –
  • MCL Tear – Example: MCL tear, probably grade 3
  • Medial –
    1. Example: Bone bruises of the anterior aspect of medial and lateral femoral condyles
    2. Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
    3. Example: Sprain medial collateral ligament
  • Medial Collateral Ligament – Example: Sprain medial collateral ligament
  • Menisci – Example: Grade 1 changes to posterior horns of menisci – but not torn
  • Morbidity – Example: Morbiditiy and mortality all rated as high risks
  • Mortality – Example: Morbiditiy and mortality all rated as high risks
  • MRI – Example: MRI right knee
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Muscle spasm –
    1. Example: Paravertebral muscle spasm
    2. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm parascapular musculature
    3. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar spine
    4. Example: Paracervical muscle spasms
    5. Example: Paralumbar muscle spasms
  • Myalgia – Example: Post traumatic myalgia
  • Myofacial
  • Nasal – Example: Facial-head-nasal abrasions
  • Navicular – Example: Fracture carpal navicular left wrist
  • Neck – Example: Radiating neck pain
  • Neuromuscular reeducation
  • Neuropsychological evaluation concussion
  • Orbital floor Fracture fissure
  • Pain –
    1. Example: Thoracic Spine Pain
    2. Example: Pain on palpatation,
    3. Example: Radiating neck pain
    4. Example: Pain management
  • Pain management
  • Palpatation – Example: Pain on palpatation,
  • Paracentral – Example: Left paracentral discal substance protrusion/herniation
  • Paracervical –
    1. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar spine
    2. Example: Paracervical muscle spasms
  • Paralumbar – Example: Paralumbar muscle spasms
  • Parascapular – Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm parascapular musculature
  • Paraspinal –
    1. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm parascapular musculature
    2. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar spine
  • Paraspinous lumbar tenderness –
  • Paraspinous thoracic tenderness –
  • Parasthesia (tingling/numbness)
  • Paravertebral – Example: Paravertebral muscle spasm
  • Physical capabilities exam
  • Physical therapy – Example: Physical therapy using pulmonary toilet to clear airways
  • Pneumothorax
  • Post Concussion – Example: Post concussion syndrome
  • Posterior – Example: Grade 1 changes to posterior horns of menisci – but not torn
  • Post Traumatic – Example: Post traumatic myalgia
  • Protrusion – Example: Left paracentral discal substance protrusion/herniation
  • Proximal – Example: Anterolateral proximal tibia
  • Pulmonary –
    1. Example: Pulmonary contusions
    2. Example: Physical therapy using pulmonary toilet to clear airways
  • Radiating – Example: Radiating neck pain
  • Radiulnar Recess – Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
  • Range of motion decreased
    1. Example: range of motion is 10 degrees full extension and around 80 degrees flexion
  • Rectus – Example: Inferior herniation of extraconal fat and possible entrapment of left inferior rectus
  • Renal – Example: Renal contusion
  • Respiration – Example: Painful respiration
  • Sacroilliac – Example: Sacroilliac joint sprain/strain
  • Scoliosis – Example: Congenital
  • Shoulder – Example: Impingement left shoulder
  • SI Joint – Example: Subluxation of the SI joint
  • Signal – Example: Elevated signal in shoulder
  • Signal intensity –
    1. Example: Lumbar MRI: Hyperintense signal intensity on stir imaging is seen in the interspinious ligamentous regions
  • Sinus hemorrhage
  • Snoring respirations –
  • Soft tissue
  • Spasm – Example: Paravertebral muscle spasm
  • Spinal Cord – Example: C2-3 – 3-4mm disc herniation slightly contacts the right anterior spinal cord
  • Spine –
    1. Example: Thoracic Spine Pain
    2. Example: Paraspinal muscle spasm bilateral paracervical and lumbar Spine –
  • Sprain –
    1. Example: Sprain back acute
    2. Example: Sacroilliac joint sprain/strain
    3. Example: Sprain medial collateral ligament
  • Sternum – Example: Chest – mid-sternum
  • Stir imaging – Example: Lumbar MRI: Hyperintense signal intensity on stir imaging is seen in the interspinious ligamentous regions
  • Strain –
    1. Example: Strain back acute
    2. Example: Sacroilliac joint sprain/strain
  • Stranding – Example: Right infrahilar stranding
  • Subcortical – Example: Subcortical fracture anterior medial aspect of the medial femoral condyle
  • Subluxation – Example: Subluxation of the SI joint
  • Swelling –
  • Syndrome – Example: Post concussion syndrome
  • Synovial Fluid – Example: Aspirated about 40 cc of cloudy appearing synovial fluid
  • Tenderness – Example: Positive tenderness in lumbar or thoracic
  • Tendonitis – Example: Tendonitis in wrist
  • Tenosynovitis –
    1. Example: Mild tenosynovitis of extensor digitorum/indicis tendons dorsal to the wrist
    2. Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
  • TFC Complex Tear – Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
  • Thecal Sac – Example: L2-3 – slight bulging 1-2mm, L3-4 2-3 mm bulging slightly effacing thecal sac, L4-5 3-4 mm disc bulging, L5-S1 4mm disc herniation
  • Thoracic Spine –
    1. Example: Lateral list of thoracic spine suggestive of muscle spasm
    2. Example: Thoracic Spine Pain
  • Tibia – Example: Anterolateral proximal tibia
  • Trauma –
    1. Example: Blunt trauma chest-wall pain
    2. Example: Edema (fluid) in knee from trauma
    3. Example: Post traumatic myalgia
  • Ventral subarachnoid space – Example: narrowing of the ventral subarachnoid space at approx C5-6 level
  • Verbal stimulus –
  • Whiplash –
  • Wrist –
    1. Example: Fracture carpal navicular left wrist
    2. Example: Tendonitis in wrist
    3. Example: Acquired fenestration or tear of the TFC complex associated with escape of joint fluid in the inferior radioulnar recess
    4. Example: Mild tenosynovitis of extensor digitorum/indicis tendons dorsal to the wrist
    5. Example: Mild tenosynovitis to the intersection of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis tendons at the dorsal aspect of the wrist
    6. Example: Inflammatory change in carpal and Guyon’s canal
  • Xray – Example: xrays of right hip and knee

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