Medical terms glossary - P

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.

Palmar- Of or relating to the palm.

Palmarflexion - Bending the wrist towards the arm.

Palsy - Paralysis.

Para- - Proximate to.

Paraesthesia - Pins and needles.

Paralysis - Active muscle contraction disabled.

Paraplegia - Both legs paralysed due to injury to the thoracic or lumbar spinal cord.

Paresis - Partial paralysis.

Parietal - The outer lining of the membranes of certain organs.

Parietal bone - Upper skull bone.

Parietal lobe - Central section of the brain.

Parkinson's disease - Degeneration of part of the brain, causing abnormal motor function.

Parosmia - Misperception of a smell.

Patch testing - Allergy testing performed by exposing the body to various substances.

Patella - Knee cap.

Pathogenic - Disease-causing.

Peri- - Around.

Periarthritis - Inflamed tissue around a joint.

Pericardium - The membrane around the heart.

Periosteum - The membrane around bones.

Periostitis - Inflammation of the periosteum.

Peritendinitis crepitans - A form of tenosynovitis close to the wrist.

Petit mal - Minor epileptic seizure.

Phalen's test - Test to identify carpal tunnel syndrome.

Phlebitis - Inflamed veins.

Phobia - Irrational fear of something.

Photosensitivity - Abnormally sensitive to light.

Physiotherapy - Rehabilitative therapy to restore normal pain-free movement. May include massage, manipulation, exercise, etc.

Pia mater - The inner layer of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord.

Plantar - Of or relating to the sole of the foot.

Plantar flexion - Flexing the foot or pointing the toes downward.

Plaques - Raised area of skin.

-plegia - Paralysis.

Pleural cavity - The space between the lungs and the chest wall.

Pleural plaque - Thickening of the lining of the lungs, often caused by asbestos exposure.

Pneumoconiosis - Lung disease caused by inhalation of dust.

Pneumonia - Lung infection.

Pneumothorax - Collapsed lung caused by air in the pleural cavity due to a breach in either the chest wall or lung.

Pollux - Thumb.

Poly- - Many.

Polyp - Abnormal growth.

Porencephaly - A cavity in the brain caused by brain damage.

Post-concussion syndrome - Headaches, impaired memory etc.

Post-traumatic epilepsy - Epilepsy following a head injury.

Postural hypotension - A sudden fall in blood pressure following standing up from a prone position.

Pott's fracture - A fracture and dislocation of the ankle.

Presbyacusis - Hearing loss with age.

Priapism - Persistent erection of the penis.

Prolapse - Displaced internal organ or structure.

Pronation - Rotating forearm so the palm faces down (opposite of supination).

Proprioception - Sensing the position of joints.

Prostatectomy - Surgical removal of the prostate gland.

Prosthesis - Artificial replacement body part.

Proximal - Nearer to the middle of the body.

Pseudo-arthrosis - Fracture that fails to fuse.

Psychosis - Severe mental disorder.

Psychosomatic - The brain’s effects on the function of the rest of the body.

Ptosis - Drooping eyelid.

Pulmonary - Of or relating to the lung.

Purgative - Laxative.

Pyarthrosis - A pus-filled joint.

Pyrexia - Fever.

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