Abductionmovement of a limb away from the midline of the body

Adduction—movement of a limb toward the midline of the body

Acetabulum—the aspect of the pelvis which articulates with the femoral head The “socket” when describing the hip joint as a “ball and socket”

Arthritis—inflammation of a joint or joints resulting in pain or swelling

Arthroscopy—the surgical examination of a joint using an endoscope (a long, slender instrument) that is inserted into the joint through a small incision

Avascular Necrosis (AVN)—a bone tissue disease that results from impaired or disrupted blood supply (as caused by injury or disease); results in severe pain in the affected region and weakened bone that may collapse; when AVN occurs near a joint, collapse of the joint surface is possible

Bone Age—see skeletal maturity

Bursa—a small, fluid-filled sac between a tendon and a bone

Cartilage—a tough, elastic tissue that lines the joints in the body to cushion against shock

Core Decompressionsurgical procedure for nontraumatic osteonecrosis, in which the bone is decompressed by removing a core of medullary bone, which is then reinserted to support the weakened cortical bone

Cortical bonethe dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity. Also known as compact bone and is imperative to body structure and weight bearing because of its high resistance to bending and torsion. (see also subchondral bone)

Cortisone—a steroid preparation that can be injected into various areas of the body to provide pain relief from conditions such as an arthritic joint; in some cases, cortisone may alleviate problems like bursitis and tendonitis

Epiphyseal Plate—see growth plate

External Fixationsurgical procedure that stabilizes and joins the ends of bones by a splint or cast


Femoral Head—the rounded head of the femur which articulates with the acetabulum of the pelvis. If the hip is a “ball and socket” the femoral head is the “ball”

Fracture—a break, rupture, or crack of the bone or cartilage

Growth plateregion in a long bone between the epiphysis and diaphysis where growth in length occurs

Inflammation—the normal reaction of body tissue to injury or infection; symptoms can include pain, heat, redness, and swelling

Internal Fixation—surgical procedure in which the ends of bone are joined by internally by devices such as metal plates, pins, rods, wires or screws

Joint—a point of contact between two or more bones; usually allows for movement

Ligament—a band or sheet of tough tissue that connects bones or binds cartilage to provide stability

Osteoarthritis—a type of arthritis, occurring most often in older patients, that is characterized by chronic deterioration of the cartilage of the joints; symptoms can include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling

Osteophytea bony outgrowth associated with the degeneration of cartilage at joints, sometimes referred to as a bone spur

Osteoclast—a cell that breaks down bone and is responsible for bone resorption

Osteoblast—a cell which secretes matrix for bone formation

Osteoporosis—a disease in which bone mass and density decreases over time resulting in a weakening of the bones that makes them especially subject to fracture and deformities

Osteotomy—the surgical cutting or removal of a bone

Scoliosis—an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine

Skeletal maturity (immaturity)Bone age is the degree of maturation of a child’s bones. As a person grows from fetal life through childhood, puberty, and finishes growth as a young adult, the bones of the skeleton change in size and shape.

Strain—a stretching or tearing of the muscles or tendons

Stress Fracture—a hairline fracture or small crack of a bone that has been subjected to repeated stress or excessive activity; an overuse injury

Subchondral bonethe layer of bone just below the cartilage in a joint and acts as a shock absorber in weight-bearing joints

Subchondral fracture of the femoral headusually occurs as an insufficiency fracture associated with poor bone quality, can be a hallmark of Perthes

Tendon—a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects bones to muscles and other tissues

Tendonitis—a condition marked by inflammation of a tendon

Tenotomythe surgical cutting of a tendon

Total Joint Replacement—surgical procedures in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis (a plastic or metal device)

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