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Medical term glossary - C
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.
Cacosmia - Abnormal smell sensations caused by brain damage.
Calcaneovalgus - A deformity of the foot causing it to bend upwards and outwards.
Calcaneum - The heel bone.
Calcaneus - A deformity of the foot causing it to bend upwards but not outwards.
Callus - Bone growing around two ends of a fractured bone while it heals.
Cancellous screw - A type of screw used to fix bone.
Canthus - The corner of the eye.
Capitate - A bone in the wrist.
Capsulitis - Inflammation of the capsule between joints.
Cardiac - Of or related to the heart.
Caries - Decay of teeth or bones.
Carpal - Of or related to the wrist.
Carpal tunnel - Space between the bones of the wrist and the membrane which conducts the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome - Entrapment of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel of the wrist.
Carpus - Wrist bones.
Cartilage - A firm, tough connective tissue which lines articular joints.
Catharsis - Cleansing the bowels.
Cauda equina lesion - Spinal disc rupture causing trapping of nerves.
Causalgia - Nerve damage causing intense continuing burning pain.
Cephalic - Of or relating to the head.
Cerebral - Of or relating to the brain.
Cerebrospinal fluid - Fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrovascular accident - Stroke.
Cervical - Of or relating to the neck.
Cervical plexus - A bundle of nerves on each side of the upper cervical spine.
Cervical spondylosis - Degeneration of bones and joints of the neck caused by arthritis.
Cholecystectomy - Gall bladder removal.
Chondral - Of or relating to cartilage.
Chondromalacia - Thinning and softening of cartilage.
Chronic - Symptoms which slowly develop and last for a long period of time.
Cicatrix - Scar.
Circumduction - The circular movement of a limb.
Claudication - Insufficient blood circulation causing muscle pain.
Clavicle - Collar bone.
Closed fracture - Fracture of a bone with skin intact.
Coccydynia - Pain in the area of the coccyx (tailbone).
Coccyx - Tailbone at the base of the spine.
Cognition - Complex brain functions such as memory and conscious thought.
Colitis - Inflammation of the colon.
Colles' fracture - Fracture to the lower end of the radius (forearm bone).
Colon - Large intestine
Colposcopy - Inspection of the cervix using a microscope.
Coma - Deep state of unconsciousness lasting for an extended period of time. Inability to wake a person from a coma may cause death.
Comminuted - Severe break of a bone into several pieces.
Compound fracture - ‘Open’ fracture where the skin is broken.
Concussion - Head injury causing temporary loss of some brain function.
Condyle - Bulge found at the end of some bones.
Congenital - Present at birth.
Contralateral - On the opposite side of the body.
Contusion - Bruising.
Cordectomy - Removal of a vocal chord.
Corneal reflex - Blinking caused by contact with the cornea.
Coronoid process - Bulge towards the top of one of the forearm bones.
Corpus callosum - Nerves which connect the two hemispheres of the brain.
Cortex - Outer part of an organ or bone.
Cortical screw - A type of screw used for fixing bone.
Cortical atrophy - Thinning of the tissue surrounding the brain.
Costal - Of or relating to the ribs.
Coxa - Hip.
Coxarthrosis - Osteoarthritis of the hip.
Crepitations - Congestion or inflammation of the lungs causing a crackling noise.
Crepitus - Friction between bones. Often caused by the movement of an arthritic joint.
Crural - Of or relating to the leg or thigh.
Cubitus - Elbow.
Cyanosis - Blue tinged skin caused by insufficient oxygen in the blood.
Cyclitis - Inflamed eye.
Cycloplegia - Paralysed eye.
Cyst - Pooled fluid enclosed by fibrous lining.
Cystic duct - Drainage channel between the gall bladder and the upper bowel.
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