Abduction The movement of a limb away from the body, as opposed to adduction which moves towards the body (Glanze, 1990).


Aldosterone A hormone which is produced in the adrenal cortex which is used to regulate sodium ion reabsorption (Marieb, 1998).


Alveoli One of millions of microscopic chambers in the lung.  The gases of respiration are exchanged here (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Analgesia Relates to a lack of pain without loss of consciousness.  It is used in this case study as a substitute for the word analgesic, which is used to describe a range of medications which relieve pain (Glanze, 1990).


Anaemia Is a disorder characterised by a decrease in haemoglobin in the blood levels to below the normal range.  This can be due to decreased red cell production, or increased red cell destruction, or blood loss.  A separate and distinct morphological classification system describes anaemia by the haemoglobin content of the red cells and by differences in red cell size e.g. haemolytic anaemia, iron deficiency anaemia (Glanze, 1990).


Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) A hormone which is produced by the hypothalamus, but which is released by the posterior pituitary, that stimulates the kidneys to reabsorb more water, reducing urine volume (Marieb, 1998).


Apnea The absence of breathing (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Arterial Blood Gas Test used to determine the pressure exerted by oxygen and carbon dioxide within the artery (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Aseptic Technique A health care procedure in which precautions are used to prevent contamination of a person, object, or area by micro-organisms (Glanze, 1990).


Atelectasis Collapse of the alveoli of the lung (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Bone Grafting The placement of bone tissue to promote healing, to stabilise, or replace diseased bone (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Callus Bony deposit formed between and around the broken ends of a fractured bone during healing (Glanze, 1990).


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) A progressive and irreversible condition characterised by diminished inspiratory and expiratory capacity of the lungs.  Symptoms include dyspnea on exertion, difficulty inhaling or exhaling deeply, sometimes a chronic cough.  May be caused by chronic bronchiolitis, pulmonary emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and is aggrivated by cigarette smoking (Glanze, 1990).


Closed Fracture (Simple fracture) does not produce a break in the skin (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Codeine Phosphate Analgesic, antitussive, antidiarrhoeal (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).


Congestive Heart Failure A condition characterised by circulatory congestion caused by cardiac disorders, e.g. myocardial infarction.  Symptoms include dyspnea, high venous pressure, prolonged circulation time, peripheral oedema, and decreased vital capacity.   Diagnosis reveals an insufficient rise in cardiac output during exercise and a significant rise in cardiac ouptut after the administration of digitalis (Glanze, 1990).


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) A thrombus in a deep vein of the body.  (Thrombus, blood clott attached to the interior wall of a vein or artery).  Potentially life threatening.   Symptoms include tenderness, pain, swelling, warmth, and discolouration of the skin.  Treated with bedrest and anticoagulants (Glanze, 1990).


Deltoid Muscle Large, thick triangular muscle that covers the shoulder joint, it abducts, flexes, extends and rotates the arm (Glanze, 1990).


Diaphoresis The secretion of sweat.  Especially the profuse sweating associated with a an elevated temperature, exposure to heat, physical exertion and stress (Glanze, 1990).


Distal Away from or farthest from point of origin, away from or farthest from the midline or central point (Mosby, 1990).


Distraction at Fracture Distraction or pulling apart of bone fragments, may be associated with delayed union (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Dyspnoea Difficult or laboured breathing (Bledsoe et al., 1991)


Dysrhythmia Any deviation from the normal electrical rhythm of the heart (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Dysuria Difficulty in passing urine, may or maynot be associated with pain, or local irritation during voiding called burning (Taylor et al., 1997).


Electrolytes Are chemical substances which dissociate into charged particles (ion's) when placed in water (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Electrolyte Balance Pertains to the balance between input and output of salts (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) in the body (Marieb, 1998).


Epithelium Relates to the primary tissue that covers the body surface, lines its internal cavities, and forms glands (Marieb, 1998).


Example If you click on highlighted underlined words a glossary term for that word will appear in this window.


Extension A movement allowed by certain joints of the skeleton which increases the angle between two adjoining bones e.g. between the femur and tibia when extending the leg (Glanze, 1990).


Extracellular Fluid Portion of the body's fluid outside of the body's cells (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Fat Embolism At the time of fracture fat globules may move into the blood from the bone marrow, or the patients stress reaction may mobilise fatty acids and promote the development of fat globules in the blood stream (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Flexion A movement allowed by certain joints of the skeleton which decreases the angle between two adjoining bones e.g. bending the knee decreases the angle between the femur and tibia (Glanze, 1990).


Fluid Balance State in which solutes and water in the body are in normal proportions and concentrations, and are in appropriate body compartments (Taylor et al., 1997).


Flucloxacillin Antibacterial - penicillin, against infections due to staphylococci and streptococci (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).


Fracture A taumatic injury to a bone in which the continuity of the tissue of the bone is broken.  Fractures are classified by the bone broken, the part of the bone which has broken, and the nature of the break, e.g. comminuted fracture of the head of the tibia (Culpan, 1998).


Clasgow Coma Scale Used to evaluate and quantify the degree of coma by determining the best motor, verbal, and eye-opening response to standard stimuli (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Haemiarthroplasty A surgical procedure to repair an injured or diseased joint e.g. replacing head of femur with a prosthesis without reconstruction of the acetabulum (Glanze, 1990). Shoulder prothesis


Haemoglobin An iron-containing compound found within the red blood cell, it is responsible for the transport and delivery of oxygen to the body cells (Beledsoe et al., 1991).


Herniorrhapies Surgical repair of a hernia (Glanze, 1990).


Histotoxin A sbustance that is poisonious to the body tissues.   Usually it is an external toxin introduced to within the body (Glanze, 1990).


Hypochromic Having less than normal colour, usually used to describe red blood cell and characterising anaemias associated with decreased synthesis of haemoglobin (Glanze, 1990).


Hypothermia Having a body temperature below normal (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Hypoventilation A reduced rate or depth of breathing, often resulting in an abnormal rise of carbon dioxide in the system (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Hypoxic Drive Low arterial oxygen pressure stimulus to respiration (Glanze, 1990).


Irradiation Exposure to any form of radiant energy.  Radioactivity in larger amounts can be used to destroy micro-organisms or tissue cells which have become cancerous. (Glanze, 1990).


Internal Fixation Stabilisation of the reduced fracture through the use of metal screws, plates, nails and pins (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Interstitial Fluid Portion of the body's fluid found outside the body's cells, but not within the circulatory system.  Interstitial fluid is the fluid found within the interstitial space between the cells (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Intracellular Fluid Portion of the body's fluid inside the body's cells (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Isotonic A state where solutions on opposite sides of a semipermeable membrane are in equal concentration (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Lateral On the side, away from the midsagittal plane (vertical plane that divides the body into right and left halves and passes approximately through the sagittal suture of the skull) (Glanze, 1990).


Malleoulus A rounded bony process, for example the protuberance on each side of the ankle (Glanze, 1990).


Medial Situated or orientated toward the midline of the body (Glanze, 1990).


Megaloblast Abnormally large nucleated immature erythrocyte that develops in large numbers in the bone marrow, and is plentiful in the circulation in many anaemias associated with deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, or intrinsic factor (Glanze, 1990).


Metabolism Sum total of the chemical reactions occuring in the body cells (Marieb, 1998).


Microcytic Smaller then normal e.g. erythrocytes in mirocytic anaemia (Glanze, 1990).


Micturition Reflex A reaction to the rise in pressure within the bladder, this results in the bladder wall contracting and relaxation of the urethral sphincter.  Voluntary control normally prevents incontinence, and urination takes place on the withdrawing of control (Glanze, 1990).


Morphine Opiod/analgesic.  For use in severe pain, premedication, postoperative pain, cardiac pain in myocardial infarction, emergency operations (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).


Myocardium Middle layer of the heart which is constructed of thick, contractile tissue (Glanze, 1990).


Nebulizer Device used to produce a fine spray.  Nebulization is to administer a drug by spraying it into the respiratory passages.  Nebulize is to disperese a liquid in a fine spray (Glanze, 1990).


Necrosis Tissue death which occurs in a localised area, can be in response to disease or injury (Glanze, 1990).


Neurocirculatory Checks Assessment of the immobilised extremity.  Should be conducted at least every hour initially, then several times a day.  Checking for such things as colour, eodema, sensation, pulse, movement (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Normal Saline Is an electrolyte solution containing sodium chloride in water.   It is isotonic (where solutions on both sides of a semipermeable membrane are in equal concentration)  with the extracellular fluid (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Normoblast A nucleated cell that is the normal precursor of the adult circulating erythrocyte (Glanze, 1990).


Oblique Fracture Is caused by rotation and angulation forces.  This fracture runs at an angle less than 90% to the long axis of the bone.  To differentiate between oblique fractures and a spiral fracture.  Spiral fractured fragments are long, sharp, and pointed resembling pen nibs, where oblique fracture fragments are short and blunted (Culpan, 1998).


Orthopaedic Comes from the Greek "orthopais" meaning "straight child".  These days it encompasses disorders of bones, joints, muscles, tendons and nerves, in both adults and children (Culpan, 1998).


Osmolarity The concentration of particles in a solution (Taylor et al., 1997).


Pain Control To have reduced pain to within tolerable limits e.g. using pain scale of 1 to5.  1 being no or little pain - 5 being very painful. Pain is a sensation of physical or mental suffering or hurt that usually causes distress or agony to the one experiencing it (Taylor et al., 1997).


Palpable Perceivable by touch (Glanze, 1990).


Paresthesia Experience of numbness, tingling or "pins and needles" (Glanze, 1990).


Panadol (Paracetamol) Antipyretic/analgesic (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).


P.C.A. Pump Patient Controlled Analgesia, a method of controlling pain that involves an infusion pump that holds a vial of an intravenous analgesic which the client controls and self administers in small doses (Taylor et al., 1997).


Percussion A technique used in physical examination used to evaluate the consistency, size and borders of some internal organs, to discover the presence of fluid in the cavity (Glanze, 1990).


Penicillin Antibiotic, active against bacteria (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).


Phenergan (Promethazine hydrochloride)


Antihistamine (For use in allergic conditions) (New Ethicals Catalogue, 1993).
Plane An extension of a longitudinal section through an axis.  For example the coronal, horizontal, and sagittal planes used to identify various parts of the body in anatomy (Glanze, 1990).


Proximal Near to a point of reference, usually the trunk of the body (Glanze, 1990).


Pulmonary Embolism


A blockage of the pulmonary artery by foreign matter e.g. fat, air, tumour tissue or a thrombus (Glanze, 1990).
Reduction of Fracture Restoring the fracture fragments back into anatomical alignment and rotation (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Residual Urine Urine which remains in the bladder after the act of voiding (Taylor et al., 1997).


Rotator Cuff Injury Tears occur at the insertion of the rotator cuff into the bone (shoulder injury) causes abrupt pain in the deltoid area with weakness/inability to abduct shoulder (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).


Subtrochanteric Fracture Is a fracture of the proximal femur.  It is subject to the deforming forces of the abductor muscles and the hip flexors (Culpan, 1998).


Supra Pubic Catheter Catheter inserted into the bladder through a small abdominal incision above the pubic area (Taylor et al., 1997).


Symphysis Pubis A slightly moveable joint of the pelvis, consists of two pubic bones separated by a disk of cartilage, and connected by two ligaments (Glanze, 1990).


Synthesis A chemical reaction in which larger, more complex atoms or molecules are formed from simpler ones (Marieb, 1998).


Tachycardia Ocurrs when the myocardium of the heart contracts regularly but at a rate greater than 100 beats per minute (Glanze, 1990).


Tachypnea Rapid respirations (Bledsoe et al., 1991).


Tinnitus Ringing heard in one or both ears (Glanze, 1990).


Traction The process of putting a limb, bone or group of muscles under tension by means of weights and pulleys to align or to immobilise the part or to relieve pressure on it (Glanze, 1990).


Ultra Sound Scan The use of sound waves at very high frequencey to image internal organs and structures.  It works by interpreting differing reflection signals produced when a beam of sound waves is projected into the body and bounces back at interfaces between the structures (Glanze, 1990).


Varus Toward the midline (Culpan, 1998).


Ventilation Exchange of gases (Taylor et al., 1997).


Voiding The process of emptying the bladder, also known as micturition, or urination (Taylor et al., 1997).


Wound Drainage Fluid and blood that accumulate at the surgical site are usually drained with a portable suction device, such as a medinorm or redivac drain (Smeltzer & Bare, 1996).