Medical . Terminology. A Presentation by Lori Agid. epiphyseal junction. gastroparesis. Retinohypothalamic. esophageal dysmotility. …unfolding the language of medicine. Subdural hematoma. Glioblastoma multiforme. hyperhidrosis. Infrapatellar tendon. GREEK OR LATIN BASED.
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…unfolding the language of medicine
Approximately 75% of medical terms are basedon either Greek or Latin
Medical terminology is composed a series of 3 main components:
The word root is the noun (the body part) or the subject of the sentence. The word root never changes unless the word changes.
The prefix attaches to the front of the word root. Depending on the prefix used, the meaning of the word root will change.
The suffix attaches to the end of the word root and like the prefix, the definition of the word root depends on the suffix, as well.
Let us take a look at some examples:
In this example, the word root stays the same, but the prefix and suffix differences change its meaning.
Who can remember walking down the pharmacy aisle holding hands with mom or dad looking up at the sign above that said analgesics? Why didn’t the sign say “pain reliever?” What did “analgesic” mean?
The breakdown of the word
an – alges – ic is as follows:
prefix root word suffix
(without) (pain) (pertaining to)
When people begin to learn medical terminology they tend to get overwhelned with fear that there is too much to learn and memorize. It is merely memorization and repetition. The more we see the words used, the more we remember them.
The only reason we know words like analgesic, hepatitis, tonsillitis, vasectomy, and mammogram - is because of lifelong media exposure. Most do not know the word root, prefix, and suffix breakdown of these words.
In grade school, we learned this as the subject (noun) of the sentence. As regards to medicine, the word root will refer to the body part.
Crani/o - skull
Cervic/o - neck
Thorac/o - thorax
Cephal/o - head
Lumb/o – lumbar spine
The suffix is always the word ending. It attaches at the end of the word root, usually with an “o” – (noted previously – combining vowel or CV).
The suffix usually indicates a procedure, condition, disease, or part of speech. It gives more information about the noun.
Medical terms always have a suffix, but do not require a prefix.
Let’s start with a common suffix that you know; itis.
Adding “itis” to our original list of word roots:
cardi + itis = carditisinflammation of the heart
oste + itis = osteitisinflammation of the bone
nephr + itis = nephritisinflammation of the kidney
gastr + itis = gastritisinflammation of the stomach
hepat + itis = hepatitisinflammation of the liver
Here is your test – how many words can you think of that end in itis? I have 9 boxes!!! Put your thinking caps on!!
joint puncture surgical puncture joint
chest incision incision into the chest
stomach enlargementenlargement of the stomach
Heart pertaining to pertaining to the heart
-ac, -al, -ar, -ary, -eal,
ical, -ile, -ory, -ous, -ic; pertaining to
-a, -e, -y a noun ending
-ad toward; increase
-algesia sensitivity to pain
-algia, -dynia pain
-ate something that…
-blast embryonic stage of development (immature)
-cele swelling; herniation
-centesis surgical puncture to withdraw fluid-
-cide to kill; to destroy
-clasis crushing or breaking up
-desis binding or surgical fusion
-ectasia stretching or dilatation
-ectomy surgical excision (removal)
-emesis to vomit
-emia blood condition
-er one who
-esis, -ia, -ism condition of…
-gen that which generates
-genesis generating; formation
-genic pertaining to formation; producing
-gram record or picture
-graph instrument used to record
-graphy process of recording
-ian, -ician specialist in a field of study
-iasis, -osis abnormal condition of…
-iatric(s) relating to medicine; physicians; or medical treatment
two side pertaining to
excessive heat condition
Some medical terms have more than one word root:
Oste / o / chondr / itis
Bone / cv /cartilage / inflammation
We could not end this quick terminology lesson without having a bit of fun; so beware of the following medical terminology mispronunciations…..
The body is divided into 10 or so main organ systems.
ANY LINE TO THE RIGHT OR LEFT OF THE MIDDLE IS STILL CONSIDERED SAGITTAL, BUT NOT “MIDSAGITTAL”
IMAGINE THE BODY LIKE A HARD COVER BOOK – THE MIDDLE WOULD BE THE “MIDLINE” OR “MIDSAGITTAL” LINE.
In terms of opposites:
ANTERIOR: front of body
POSTERIOR: back of body
VENTRAL: frontward (toward belly)like anterior
DORSAL: backward like posterior
MEDIAL: toward midline of body
LATERAL: toward side of body
SUPERIOR: upward/above (toward the head)
INFERIOR: toward the tail or feet (below)
Frontal (coronal) plane
CRANIAL: toward the head
CAUDAL: to the tail
DISTAL:farthest from the point of origin of a body part (example: the fingers would be distal when looking at an x-ray of an arm)
PROXIMAL:nearest to the point of origin of a body part (example: the shoulder would be proximal when looking at an x-ray of the arm
Frontal (coronal) plane
ADDUCTION – TOWARD BODY TRUNK
Superficial = Pertaining to the surface of the body
Deep = Pertaining to away from the surface of the body
Prone and Supine