Medical terms glossary - S

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.

Sacral - Of or relating to the sacrum.

Sacrodynia - Pain in sacrum.

Sacro-iliac joint - The joint connecting the ilium and the sacrum.

Sacrum - Bone at the base of the spine above the coccyx composed of five fused vertebrae.

Scaphoid - A wrist bone.

Sciatica - Pain and abnormal sensation in sciatic nerve down the back of the leg.

Sclerosis - Higher density bone.

Scoliosis - Spine deformed laterally.

Seizure - A fit.

Self-tapping screw - Screw capable of cutting it’s own thread.

Sequestrum - Dead bone caused by osteomyelitis.

Sesamoid - Bones within tendons, e.g. the kneecap.

Shin splints - Fracture of the tibia caused by physical stress.

Shortening - Reduction in length of a bone.

Sign - The results of a doctors visual inspection.

Silicosis - Lung disease caused by inhalation of silicon dust.

Simple fracture - Fracture without breach of skin.

Sinus - Air-filled cavities in the skull.

Slough - Dead tissue being shed from the body.

Spastic - Excessive muscle spasm.

Spinal cord - Nerve bundle within the vertebral canal.

Splint - Support to prevent movement of a joint or fracture.

Spondylitis - Inflammation of the spine.

Spondylo- - Of or relating to the vertebrae.

Spondylolisthesis - Vertebrae slipping on one another.

Spondylolysis - Deformed vertebrae, usually due to an injury.

Spondylosis - Osteoarthritis of the spine.

Sprain - Partial tearing of a ligament.

Stenosis - Abnormal narrowing of passages such as arteries.

Sternum - Breast bone.

Stockholm workshop scale - A scale for the assessment of Raynaud's phenomenon and hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Sub-dural haematoma - A pooling of blood between the outer membrane of the brain and the inner lining of the skull.

Subluxation - Partial dislocation of a joint.

Sudek's atrophy - A form of reflex sympathetic dystrophy involving the wasting of muscle and osteoporosis (thinning of bones).

Sulci - Folds on the surface of the brain.

Supination - Rotation of forearm.

Supra-condylar fracture - A fractured end of the humerus (upper arm bone) or femur (thigh bone).

Suture - Stitch used during surgery.

Symphysis - A joint with no cavity, minimising movement.

Symphysis pubis - The join between the two halves of the pelvis.

Symptom - Sensory perception of the patient.

Syndesmosis - A joint where the opposing surfaces are connected by a ligament

Syndrome - A collection of symptoms and signs which indicates a conclusion.

Synovial effusion - Abnormally large amount of fluid generated in joint cavity.

Synovitis - Inflammation of the joint lining.

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