At first, an injury report may not even sound like English. To add to the confusion so many medical terms also have a (sometimes incorrect) “layman’s” translation. In this article I have created a list of common medical descriptions and injuries.
Distal/ Proximal- Proximal means closer to the head, distal means further from.
Medial/ Lateral- Medial means closer to the midline of the body (a medial ankle sprain is the inside of the ankle, lateral is the outside)
Sprain- Caused by stretching of ligaments (connect bone to bone) past their normal range of motion.
Strain- Caused by stretching of muscle past its normal range of motion.
Sprains and strains are graded based on severity.
Grade 1= stretching of tissue
Grade 2= partial tearing of tissue
Grade 3= full tear (rupture) of tissue
Tendinitis/ Tendinosis- Inflammation of a tendon (example: biceps tendon in shoulder) Often occurs gradually and because of overuse.
Bursitis- Inflammation of bursa, fluid filled sacs that help decrease friction.
Contusion- Most often called a bruise, caused by a direct blow or compression to soft tissue; may present with a hematoma (swelling or mass of blood).
Impingement- Narrowing of space within a joint and compression of tendons and bursa. Often occurs from overuse and is most common in the shoulder.
Dislocation- Displacement of a bone from its normal position in a joint (example: shoulder “popping out”). To “reduce” a dislocation means to correct the alignment.
Subluxation- A partial or incomplete dislocation (slightly out of place).
Fracture- Break in a bone
Fractures may be displaced or nondisplaced (based on alignment), closed or open (based on whether the bone is penetrating the skin)
Arthroscopic- The surgeon uses an endoscope (a small light and camera) to help perform the surgery inside of a joint, in comparison to other surgeries this is considered minimally invasive. ACL reconstruction is most frequently performed arthroscopically, if done well this will leave minimal scarring.
Open surgery- The surgeon cuts through tissue to have a full view of what is involved.
Graft- Replacement tissue
Graft tissue is used in ACL reconstruction surgery and may either come from the athlete’s Patellar tendon (knee), hamstring, or an allograft (from a cadaver)