Medical term glossary - B

This medical term glossary provides explanations in plain English of a number of technical terms you may encounter in the process of pursuing a clinical negligence claim.

Babinski reflex - Reflexive extension of the big toe when the sole of the foot is scratched. May be caused by brain damage, for example following a stroke.

Baritosis - Lung disease caused by barium dust.

Barotrauma - Injury caused to the interior or the ear by pressure differences. May result from changes in depth at sea or altitude when flying.

Basal ganglia - Brain cells concerned with regulation of movement and sensory impulses. They may be damaged in cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease.

Behaviour therapy - Psychological therapy intended to regulate abnormal behaviour.

Bilateral - Present on both sides.

Binocular - Relating to both eyes.

Biopsy - Surgery to remove tissue for diagnostic purposes.

Blepharitis - Inflamed eyelids.

Bone conduction - The vibration of bones in the ear which conducts sound, allowing hearing.

Bone graft - Removal of bone from one location and transference to another where it is then fused.

Bowel - The intestine.

Brace - Artificial bone support.

Brachial plexus - A junction of nerves at the base of the neck.

Bradykinesia - Unusually slow movements, a symptom of Parkinson's disease.

Brain stem - Lower rear part of the brain which contains vital centres controlling breathing and heart function. Serious brain stem injury can cause death.

Break - Fracture of a bone.

Broca's area - The area of the brain that controls speech. Disease or damage may result in aphasia or dysphasia.

Bronchi - Passages which lead from the windpipe to the lungs.

Bronchial - Of or related to the bronchi.

Bronchoscopy - Examination of the bronchi.

Bruise - Soft tissue trauma. Discolouration caused by bleeding.

Bucket handle tear - Common type of tear of the cartilages in the knee.

Bulbar - Relating to the medulla, a part of the brain stem.

Bulbar palsy - Disease or injury to the part of the brainstem known as the bulbar. May cause difficulty swallowing.

Burr hole - A hole drilled in the skull to remove pressure caused by bleeding etc.

Bursa - Pouches of fibrous tissue containing fluid which are positioned between the skin and bones at areas of friction to permit smooth movement.

Bursitis - Inflammation of a bursa.

Butterfly fragment - A triangular fragment of bone found in some tibial fractures.

Byssinosis - A disease of the lungs caused by inhalation of cotton flax or hemp dust.

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