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Medical Terminology. Class #3. Medical Terminology. Do page one of your medical terminology worksheet. Take a break when you are finished. Prefixes – a word element at the beginning of the word to alter its meaning. A prefix can not stand alone; it must be combined with a root word.

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medical terminology1
Medical Terminology
  • Do page one of your medical terminology worksheet. Take a break when you are finished.

Prefixes – a word element at the beginning of the word to alter its meaning. A prefix can not stand alone; it must be combined with a root word

A-, an-Without or not Intro-Into; within Ab-Away from

Leuk-White Ad-Toward Macro-Large

Ante-Before, forward Mal-Bad, illness, disease Anti-Against

Mega-Large Auto-Self Micro-Small

Bi-Double, two Mono-One, single Circum-Around

Neo-New Contra-Against, opposite Non-Not

Para-Abnormal Per-By, through Peri-Around

Poly-Many, much Ecto-Outer, outside Post-After, behind

En-In, into, within Endo-Inner, inside Pro-Before, in front

Epi-Over, on Re-Again Eryth-Red

Retro-Backward Ex-Out, out of Semi-Half

Hemi-Half Sub-Under Hyper-Excessive

Super- Above, over Hypo-Under, decreased Supra-Above, over

In-In, into, within, not Trans-Across Inter-Between

Uni-One Intra-Within


Root words – provide the fundamental meaning of a term. Combinations of rootwords, prefixes and suffixes form medical and scientific terms. A vowel, called a combining vowel, often is added when two root words are combined or a suffix is added to a root word; the combining vowel is usually an o or an i.

Abdomin (o)Abdomen Neur (o)Nerve Aden (o)Gland

Ocul (o)Eye Adren (o) gland Orth (o)Straight, normal

Angi (o)Vessel Oste (o)Bone Arterio (o)Artery

Ot (o)Ear Arthr (o)Joint Ped (o)Child, foot

Broncho (o)bronchi Cardi (o)Heart Phleb (o)Vein

Cephal (o)Head Pnea Breathing Chondr (o)Cartilage

Pneum (0)Lung, air, gas Col (o)Colon Proct (o)Rectum

Cost (o)Rib Psych (o)Mind Crani (o)Skull

Pulm (o)Lung Cyan (o) Blue Py (o)Pus

Cyst (o)Bladder, cyst Rect (o)Rectum Cyt (o)Cell

Rhin (o)Nose Derma Skin Sten (o)Narrow, constriction

Duoden (o)Duodenum Stran (o)Sternum Encephal (o)Brain

Stomat (o)Mouth Enter (o)Intestines Therm (o)Heat

Fibro (o)Fiber, fibrous Thorac (o)Chest Gastr (o)Stomach

Thromb (o)Clot, thrombus hyr (o)Thyroid Toxic (o)Poison, poisonous

Hepat (o)Liver Trache (o)Trachea Hydr (o)Water

Hyster (o)Uterus Ile (o), ili (o)Ileum Urin (o)Urine

Uter (o)Uterus Mamm (o)Breast Vas (o)Blood vessel, vas deferens

My (o)Muscle Ven (o)Vein Myel (o)Spinal cord, bone marrow

Vertebr (o)Spine, vertebrae Nephr (o)kidney


Suffixes – a word element placed at the end of a root word to alter the meaning of the word. Suffixes, like prefixes, can not stand alone, they must accompany a root word. The suffix should be the starting point when interpreting medical terms.

-algia=Pain -megaly=Enlargement

-oma=Tumor -cele=Hernia

-osis=Condition -cyte=Cell

-pathy=Disease -ectasis=Dilation

-phasia=Speaking -plegia=Paralysis

-gram=Record -graphy=Making a record

iasis=Condition of -scope=Examination instrument

-ism=Condition -scopy=Examination using a scope

-it is=Inflammation -logy=Study of

-lysis=Destruction of -uria=Condition of the urine


Abbreviations – shortened form of words or phrases. A. Used as written communication to save time and space B. When using abbreviations, provide an abbreviation key

Abd=Abdomen IBW=Ideal Body Weight

Ad lib=As desired id=The same

lig=ligament alt noct=Alternate nights

AM=Morning meds=Midline

ML=Medicationns n=Normal

Approx=Approximately NA=Nonapplicable

terms related to dx and dz
Terms Related to Dx and Dz

Indication – a condition for which an approach would be beneficial for health enhancement, treatment of a particular condition, or support of a treatment modality other than massage

Contraindication – a condition or factor that may make an approach harmful.

Contraindications may be subdivided by severity:

1. General avoidance of application – do not massage

2. Regional avoidance of application – avoid a particular area

3. Application with caution – requires supervision from medical or

supervising personnel – massage but carefully select types of methods

to be used, duration of application, frequency and intensity of massage.

terminology of location and position
Terminology of Location and Position

Directional Terms – used to describe the way one body part relates to another

1. Superior / cranial or cephalad

2. Inferior / caudal

3. Anterior / ventral

4. Posterior / dorsal

5. Proximal

6. Distal

7. Lateral

8. Medial

terminology of location and position1
Terminology of Location and Position

B. Anatomic Planes

1. Transverse plane

2. Frontal/coronal plane

3. Medial/sagittal plane

terminology of location and position2
Terminology of Location and Position

C. Positional Terms

1. Anatomic position – stance of the body when erect, arms hanging at the sides, palms facing forward

2. Erect position – the body in a standing position

3. Supine position – the body lying in a horizontal position with face up

4. Prone position – the body in horizontal position with face down

5. Laterally recumbent position – the body lying horizontally on either the right or left side

medical terminology2
Medical Terminology

Tissue – a collection of similar cells acting together to form a particicular function

Epithelial – closely packed single or stratified layer of cells (skin) covering the body and lining its cavities with the exception of blood and lymph vessels

Connective – tissue that supports and binds other tissue and parts

Muscular – tissues that are contractible – 3 types: cardiac, smooth muscle and skeletal

Nervous – CNS – brain and spinal cord

PNS – cranial and spinal nerves

ANS – nerves in thoracic, lumbar, cranial and sacral segments of the Spinal cord

medical terminology3
Medical Terminology

Histo - tissue

Histology – study of microscopic anatomic and physiologic characteristics of tissues and cells therein

Organ – structural part of a system of the body that is composed of tissue and cells that enable it to perform a particular function

Bone – a dense, hard and somewhat flexible connective tissue

Os, ossa, oste, osteo – having to do with bone

medical terminology4
Medical Terminology

Tendon – any one of the white, glistening bands of dense, fibrous connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone

Ligament – shiny white flexible bands of fibrous tissue binding joints together and connecting articular bones and cartilages to facilitate movement

Cartilage – a nonvascular dense supporting connective tissue composed of ground substance

Hyaline cartilage – a type of elastic connective tissue composed of Specialized cells in a translucent, pearly blue matrix covering articulating ends of bones

Fibrocartilage – Cartilage that consists of a dense matrix of white collagenous fibers.

medical terminology5
Medical Terminology

Joint – any one of the articulations between bones

Articulation – movements of joints

Bursae – a fibrous sac between certain tendons and the bones beneath them. The bursae acts as a small cushion that allows the tendons to move over the bone as it contracts and releases

Osteoblasts – a bone forming cell during early development of the skeleton, differentiates from a fibroblast to function in the formation of bone tissue

Osteoclasts – a large type of multinucleated bone cell with a large amount of acidophilic cytoplasm that functions to absorb and remove osseos tissue

medical terminology6
Medical Terminology

Manubrium – most anterior of the 3 bones of the sternum

Xiphoid Process – the smallest of 3 parts of the sternum

Malleolus – a rounded bony process such as each side of the ankle

Process – a natural growth that projects from a bone

Crest – a narrow, elongated elevation

medical terminology7
Medical Terminology

Trochanter – one of the two bony projections on the proximal end of the femur that serve as a part of the attachment for various muscles

Tuberosity – an elevation or protuberance especially of the bone

Acute – beginning abruptly with marked intensity or sharpness, then subsiding after a relatively short period of time

Ambulatory – able to walk

Anomoly – deviation from what is regarded as normal

medical terminology8
Medical Terminology

Flaccid – weak, soft and flabby; lacking muscle tone

Hyperkinisia – too much erratic or rhythmic movement

Hypertonicity – excessive tone, tension, activity

Insertion – the place where a muscle attaches to a bone for movement

Origin – the more fixed or proximal attachment of two points of a muscle

medical terminology9
Medical Terminology

Hyperemia – an excess of blood in a part of the body, caused by increased blood flow, as in an inflammatory response, local relaxation of arterioles or obstruction of blood flow from an area. Skin overlaying a hyperemic area usually becomes reddened and warm

Spastic – pertaining to spasms or other uncontrolled contractions of skeletal muscles

Myalgia – diffuse muscle pain, usually accompanied by malaise

Spasm – an involuntary muscle contraction of sudden onset such as habit spasms, hiccups, stuttering or a tic

Fracture – to break - a traumatic injury to the bone in which the continuity of the bone tissue is broken

medical terminology10
Medical Terminology

Osteoarthritis – joint inflammation - a form of arthritis in which one or many joints undergo degenerative changes

Osteochondritis – bone cartilage inflammation. A disease of epiphyses or bone forming centers of the skeleton that begins with necrosis and tissue fragmentation and is followed by repair and regeneration

Osteochondrosis – a disease of the epiphyses, or bone-forming centers of the skeleton, that begins with necrosis and tissue fragmentation and is followed by repair and regeneration.

Osteoporosis – a disorder characterized by abnormal loss of bone density and deterioration of bone tissue, with an increased fracture risk.

Spondylitis – an inflammation of any of the vertebrae, usually characterized by stiffness and pain.

medical terminology11
Medical Terminology

Atrophy – a wasting or decrease in size or physiologic activity of a part of the body because of disease or other influence.

Benign – noncancerous and therefore not an immediate threat.

Chronic – persisting for a long period, often for the remainder of a persons lifetime.

Clinical – pertaining to a clinic, to direct bedside medical or nursing care, to materials or equipment used in the care of a sick person.

Diagnosis – identification of a disease or condition by a scientific evaluation of physical signs, symptoms, history, laboratory test results, and procedures.

medical terminology12
Medical Terminology

Local – pertaining to a small circumscribed area of the body

Malignant – tending to become worse and to cause death.

Metastatic – the process by which tumor cells spread to distant parts of the body.

Prognosis – a prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on the condition of the person and the usual course of the disease as observed in similar situations.

Sign – an objective finding as perceived by an examiner, such as fever, rash.

medical terminology13
Medical Terminology

Symptom – a subjective indication of a disease or a change in condition as perceived by the patient.

Syndrome – a complex of signs and symptoms resulting from a common cause or appearing, in combination, to present a clinical picture of a disease or inherited abnormality.

Systemic – pertaining to the whole body rather than to a localized area or region of the body.

Bacterial – of or pertaining to bacteria.

Cancer – a neoplasm characterized by the uncontrolled growth of anaplastic cells that tend to invade surrounding tissue and to metastasize to distant body parts.

medical terminology14
Medical Terminology

Congenital – present at birth, as in anomaly or defect

Degenerative – pertaining to or involving degeneration or change to a lower or dysfunctional form.

Epidemic – affecting a significantly large number of people at the same time.

Exacerbation – an increase in the seriousness of a disease or disorderas marked by greater intensity in the signs and symptoms of the patient being treated

Idiopathic – without a know cause

medical terminology15
Medical Terminology

Infectious – the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms that reproduce and multiply, causing disease by local cellular injury, secretion of a toxin or antigen/antibody reaction in the host.

Trauma – physical injury caused by violent or disruptive action or by the introduction into the body of a toxic substance

Viral – of or pertaining to a virus

Aponeurosis – a strong flat sheet of fibrous connective tissue that serves as a tendon to attach muscles to bone or as fascia to bind muscles together or to other tissues at their origin or insertion.

Belly – the fleshy central bulging portion of a muscle

medical terminology16
Medical Terminology

Clonus – an abnormal pattern of neuromuscular activity, characterized by rapidly alternating involuntary contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle

Contracture – a abnormal, usually permanent condition of a joint, characterized by flexion and fixation

Cramp – a spasmodic and often painful contraction of one or more muscles

Fascia – the fibrous connective membrane of the body that can be separated from other structures, such as tendon.s