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Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Abdomen – a portion of the body between the thorax and the pelvis.

Abduct – to draw away from the midline (opposite of adduct).

Abduction – (movement term) moving a body part away from the midline of the body, i.e. raising an arm from the side of the body to shoulder height.

Abductor – a muscle performing the function of abduction.

Abscess – localised collection of pus.

Acetabulum – the hollow cup-like socket of the pelvis into which the head of the femur (thigh bone) fits.

Acute – severe and/or short duration; can be used when speaking of the duration and severity of diseases (opposite of chronic).

Acromium – bony process of the scapula which forms the point of the shoulder.

Adamant – extremely hard.

Adduct – to draw toward the midline (opposite of abduct).

Adduction – (movement) moving a body part toward the midline of the body, i.e. lowering an arm from shoulder height to the side of the body.

ADEPT – ADEPT® Hip Resurfacing System.

Allograft – a tissue transplanted to a different individual of the same species.

Alloy – a mix of metals designed to improve implant material properties for specific purposes.

Amphiarthrosis – a joint with little movement and no joint cavity.

Anconeus – pertaining to the elbow.

Ankle – joint formed between the dome of the talus and distal tibia and fibula.

Ankylosis – the fusion of a joint.

Anterior – (anatomical) toward the front or in front of.

Apex – top or summit.

A/P - (anatomical term) anterior/posterior.

Appendage – a structure arising from the surface or extending beyond the tip of another structure i.e. extremities.

Appendicular skeleton – extremities (upper extremities consist of shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist and hand; lower extremities consist of foot, ankle, leg, thigh and hip).

Articular – pertaining to a joint; surfaces that ‘fit together'.

Arthritis – inflammation of a joint.

Arthrodesis – (Greek) a joint.

Arthroplasty – surgical reconstruction of a joint.

Arthrotomy – cutting into a joint.

Articular – pertaining to a joint; surfaces that 'fit together'.

Articulation – (Latin) movement of a joint.

Asepsis – a condition free from infection.

Aspect – position, surface or face.

Aspirate – to remove by suction.

Asymmetrical design – a design which comes in left and right configurations, mirroring the natural, anatomic contours of a joint.

Atrophy – wasting away of tissue.

Autograft – a tissue transplanted from one part to another part of the same body.

Autonomical – independent of others.

Axial – pertaining to the axis or line about which a body turns (opposite of appendicular).

Axial skeleton – trunk, spine and skull.



Beads, Beaded, Beading – term used to describe implant coatings made of tiny spheres.

BHR – Birmingham Hip Replacement system.

Biaxial – turning about two axis or having two axis.

Biconcave – having two concave surfaces.

Bilateral – occurring on both sides of a midline point or pertaining to both sides of the body (i.e. two hip replacements = bilateral hip replacement).

Biocompatibility – materials that can coexist with living tissue without being harmful or toxic or being rejected by the host.  The most common materials used for joint replacement are polyethylenes, metals and ceramics (each has specific biocompatible characteristics).

Biomechanics – the study of the relationship between forces and motion in biological systems, i.e. the human body.

Bipolar – having two poles or processes.

Blood – a fluid tissue circulating through the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries.

Bone cement – material usually made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) which acts like a grout between an implant and human bone.

Bone ingrowth – the process of living bone or tissue growing up to and into the surface of an implant, this is very important for the stabilisation and long-term life of an implant.

Bones – classified by shape as long, short, flat or irregular.

Brachial – pertaining to the arm.



Calcaneus, Calcaneum – the heel bone.

Calcar – a thickened plate of bone near the head of the femur.

Cancelleous – the softer bone or lattice-like bone structure

Cancellous bone – the spongy inner of the bone also known as the trabecular bone

Capitate – wrist bone which is head-shaped.

Capitulum – little head

Capsular – a ligament which surrounds a moveable joint.

Carpals – the eight bones in the wrist are known as the carpal bones.  There are four bones in two rows.  Of these, the navicular and the lunate are most important.

Cartilage – works as a type of frame-work for the skeleton, as we mature cartilage is found primarily in the joints.  Because it is far more flexible and compressible than bone, it can be easily manipulated during surgery.  Arthritis causes cartilage to be worn away, resulting in a lot of pain and restricted movement.

Caudal – (anatomical) toward the feet.

Cemented – an implant which is secured in the human body with the aid of bone cement.

Central – situated in the midportion as opposed to the peripheral.

Cephalic – (anatomical) toward the head.

Chronic – of long duration (opposite of acute).

Cirumduction – (movement) to rotate in a cone shape around a single point (i.e. the movement of the shoulder joint).

Circumflex – Bent or turned about.

Clavicle – the clavicle (collarbone) forms the front part of the shoulder girdle, it lies in a horizontal position just above the first rib and is shaped like a flat letter 'S'.  Because of it's location and because it is close to the skin, the clavicle is often fractured as a result of falls or direct blows.

Coatings – any number of different materials applied to the surface of an implant or prosthesis to aid in fixation (porous coatings generally permit in-growth into the implant.

Cobalt chrome (CoCr) – a metal alloy with excellent resistance to fatigue, cracking and stress, widely used in orthopaedic implants.

Coccyx – (tail bone) lowest portion of the vertebral column.

Component – a part of an implant system, i.e. the resurfacing head replaces the original femoral head.

Compact bone – the thick outer shell of the bone.

Concave – having a depressed surface or the centre is at a lower level than the edge (opposite of convex).

Condyle – a rounded knob or ‘knuckle' at the end of the bone.

Condyloid – resembling a knuckle.

Congenital – present at birth.

Congruent, Congruence – the degree of constraint of two articular implants.

Convex – having a rounded elevated surface (opposite of concave).

Cortex – outer layer of an organ or structure.

Costal – pertaining to a rib or ribs.

Coxa – the hip, 'of the hip'.

Cranial – pertaining to the cranium (or skull).

Cranium – the skull or brain pan.

Cruciate – shaped like a cross, particularly of knee ligaments.

Cruciate ligament – any paired set of ligaments that cross over each other in an 'X' formation, usually used to refer to the posterior cruciate and anterior cruciate ligaments of the knee, which help stabilise the forward and backward motion of the knee.

Cubital – pertaining to the tile space in front of the elbow joint.

Custom – an implant manufactured to the demands of the surgeon, based on the specific needs of one patient.

Cyclic fatigue – a biomechanical measure of stress placed on a material, measured in cycles of regular motion (joint motion, i.e. rotation, bending etc).



DBK – Dual Bearing Knee system.

Deltoid – triangular, also a muscle which runs from the clavicle to the neck.

Design rationale – the justification of an implant design based on extensive research into materials, clinical data, function, style and anatomical constraints.

Diagnosis – recognition of a disease from symptoms.

Diaphysis – the shaft of the bone.

Diathrosis – a freely movable joint.

Dislocation – the displacement of any part, especially the removal temporarily of a bone from its normal position in a joint.

Distal – (anatomical) situated or directed farther away or remote from the area under consideration (the opposite of proximal).

Dorsal – (anatomical) the back or spinal side of the body.

Dorsiflexion – (movement) movement of the hand or foot toward its posterior or dorsal surface (upwards).



Endosteum – tissue surrounding the medullary cavity of bone.

Epi – a prefix meaning 'on' or 'above' (opposite of hypo).

Epicondyle – a prominence or a bone on or upon a condyle.

Epiphysis – a part of a process of a bone which ossifies separately before making osseous union with the main portion of the bone (the 'growth plate' of bones).

EPOCA – shoulder implant system.

Erect – (body posture) the position of the body either when standing or sitting.

Etiology – the study of the causes of disease.

Eversion – (movement) the act of turning outwards, i.e. turning the sole outwards (opposite of inversion).

Extension – (movement) the straightening of a joint (opposite of flexion).

External – (anatomical) situated or occurring on the outside (opposite of internal).



FDA – Food and Drug Administration.

Femur – (thigh bone) this is the longest, strongest bone in the body.  The upper end is rounded and has a head extending from a neck.  The head fits into the acetabulum of the innominate bone to form the hip joint.  The neck is the most frequently fractured part of the femur.  At the lower end are two prominences called the lateral and medial condyles that articulate with the tibia and patella to form the knee joint.

Femoral Head – this is the ‘head' or ‘ball' of the femur which sits in the cup-like socket of the pelvis.

Fibula – (smaller bone of the lower leg) the fibular, or splint bone, is long and slender and is located on the lateral side of the leg.  Proximally, it articulates with the tibia only – distally, it with the tibia and talus.  The lower end has a bony prominence called the lateral malleolus, the bump on the lateral side of the ankle.

Fixation – the act, process or operation of holding, suturing or fastening something into a fixed position.  In orthopaedics, it often refers to the stability and immobilisation of an implant into a human body.

Flat bones – are such as those of the skull and scapulae and have relatively extensive surfaces for protection or muscular attachment.

Flexion – (movement) bending a joint, where the angle of the joint decreases (opposite of extension).

– the curved or bent part of a structure.

Foot - forming the sole and instep of the foot are the five metatarsals.  They are counted from the big toe to the little toe, as I, II, III, IV and V.

Foramen – a hole.

Fossa – a pit or hollow.

Fracture – a break in the continuity of bone.



Glenoid – resembling a pit or pocket.  The glenoid fossa of the scapula is very shallow.  Similar to the acetabulum of the hip.

GMP – Good Manufacuring Practices, part of total quality systems.



Hallux – the big toe.

Harris Hip Scores – a numerical rating scale used for evaluation of the hip.  The Harris Hip Rating Scale evaluates pain, function, absence of deformity and range of motion (ROM).  One hundred is the highest possible total.

Head – a rounded smooth eminence for articulation (refers to joints; i.e. surfaces that ‘fit together' i.e. femoral (thigh bone) head and acetabulum (pelvis) bone.

Hip bone – the innominate, or hip bone, has three parts:  Illium, ischium, and pubis.  Early in life these parts are separate but, as the individual approaches maturity, they become fused.  The illium is the broad upper portion that flares out to the side.  The ischium is the small lower part, upon which a person sits.  The pubis forms the anterior part and is situated in front of the bladder.  It joins with the pubis of the other hip bone to form a joint called the symphysis pubis.  The deep cup-shaped depression in the lateral side of the hip bone is called the acetabulum.  The head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum to form the hip joint.  The two hip bones, together with the sacrum and coccyx in the rear, form the pelvis.  It is a deep basin-shaped structure designed to protect the organs in the abdomen in much the same way as the ribs protect the heart and lungs.

Humerus – the humerus (upper arm bone) extends from the shoulder to the elbow.  It is made up of a head, and anatomical neck, a surgical neck, a shaft and a distal (far end) extremity.  The head articulates with the scapula.  The distal end articulates with the radius and ulna (bones in the forearm).

Hydroxyapatite (HA) – a bioactive calcium phosphate ceramic similar to normal bone, may be applied to implant surfaces.

Hyper – prefix meaning above (opposite of hypo).

Hyperextension – (movement) excessive extension.

Hyperplasia – increase in size of a tissue or organ due to an increase in the number of cells.

Hypertrophy – increase in the size of a tissue or organ die to an increase in the size of its constituent cells.

Hypo – a prefix meaning below or under (opposite of epi or hyper).



IDE – Investigational Device Exemption (studies of experimental products).

Ilium – bone of the pelvis.

Implant – a device (or tissue or substance) that is transferred, grafted, or inserted into a living body.

Index – refers to the forefinger or 'pointing' finger.

Inferior – (anatomical) situated or directed below (opposite of superior).

Infra – a prefix meaning 'beneath' (opposite of supra).

Ingrowth, bone – the process of living bone or tissue growing up to and into the surface of an implant, very important for stabilisation and long-term life of an implant.

Innominate – (hip bone) the innominate, or hip bone, has three parts:  Illium, ischium, and pubis.  Early in life these parts are separate but, as the individual approaches maturity, they become fused.  The illium is the broad upper portion that flares out to the side.  The ischium is the small lower part, upon which a person sits.  The pubis forms the anterior part and is situated in front of the bladder.  It joins with the pubis of the other hip bone to form a joint called the symphysis pubis.  The deep cup-shaped depression in the lateral side of the hip bone is called the acetabulum.  The head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum to form the hip joint.  The two hip bones, together with the sacrum and coccyx in the rear, form the pelvis.  It is a deep basin-shaped structure designed to protect the organs in the abdomen in much the same way as the ribs protect the heart and lungs.

Instrument – a tool or implement used in surgery.

Inter – a prefix meaning 'between'.

Interface – surface forming a common boundary between two bodies (used to describe the interaction of implants and living tissue).

Interior – (anatomical) between.

Internal – (anatomical) situated or occurring within or on the inside.  Particularly with reference to a hollow viscus or cavity.

Intra – a prefix meaning 'within'.

Inversion – (movement) the act of turning inwards i.e. turning the sole inwards (opposite of eversion).

Involuntary – performed against will or consent.

Irregular bones – are bones having irregular or peculiar and often very complex shapes and include the pelvis, maxilliar (upper jaw), sphenoid bone (the base of the skull) and vertebrae.

Ischium – bone of the hip.

ISO – International Standards Organisation, a standards issuing body.



Knee Society Scores – a numerical scale for evaluating knee function developed by the Knee Society.

Kyphosis – an abnormal condition (curvature) of the spine (hunchbacked).



Lateral – (anatomical) situated or directed away from the midline of the body (pertaining to the side) or one of its parts (opposite of medial).

Laterally recumbent – (body posture) lying on either side.

LD – low density or low-demand.

LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene.

Ligament – fibrous tissue connecting bone to bone serving to bind them together and to facilitate or limit motion.

Lordosis – abnormal anterior convexity of the lumbar spine.

Long bones – such as the femur (thigh bone), humerus (upper arm bone) and radius (wrist bone) consists of a shaft (diaphysis) and two extremities (epiphyses) used as levers.

Lower extremities - include the foot, ankle, leg, thigh and hip.  The bones that make up the lower extremities are the phalanges (toes), metatarsals (anterior foot), tarsals (posterior foot and a portion of the ankle), tibia and fibula (leg), patella (knee cap), femur (thigh) and innominate (hip).

Lumen – space within a tube or organ.

Lunate – a bone of the carpus, shaped like a crescent moon.

Luxation – dislocation of a joint.



M/L – (anatomic term) medial/lateral.

Major – larger (opposite of minor).

Malleolus – ankle bone.

Mandible – bone of lower jaw.

Maxilla – a jawbone, particularly referring to the bone of the upper jaw.

Media – middle.

Medial – (anatomical) near or nearness to the midline (opposite of lateral).

Median – pertaining to the middle (that is, between two other structures).

Medullary canal – the porous centre of a bone (i.e. femur) which contains red and yellow marrow.

Meniscectomy – removal of the meniscus cartilage of the knee.

Meniscus – a 'C' shaped or semi-lunar cartilage in the knee which provides a stabilisation system for the knee and a measure of shock absorbtion.

Metacarpals – (bones that make up the palm of the hand) the metacarpals are numbered from the thumb as I, II, III, IV and V.  Each metacarpal has a head, shaft, and base.  The heads articulate with the fingers – the base with the wrist bones.

Meatcarpus – Beyone the instep (the five bones of the foot between the toes and tarsal bones).
Minor – smaller (opposite of major).

Morphology – the study of the structure of organisms, used colloquially to refer to the structure of body parts.

MRK – Medial Rotation Knee System.



Navicular – boat-shaped, carpal bone at the base of the thumb (also known as the scaffold).

Necrosis – death of areas of tissue or bone surrounded by healthy tissue.

Non-porous – an implant designed to be used with bone cement for stabilisation, a surface that is not designed for, nor coated with surfaces for in-growth.



Oblique – slanting, between horizontal and vertical direction.

Olecranon – the prominence at the proximal end of the ulna.

Opposition – the act of opposing one part to another.

Orbital – pertaining to the orbit (eye).

Organ – a group of tissues that have a special function.

Orthopaedics – a branch of medical science that deals with treatment of disorders involving locomotor structures of the body, especially the skeleton, joints, muscle and fascia.

Orthopaedist – (American) a physician specialising in orthopaedics.

Os – bone (os coxae – hip bone).

Osmosis – passage of fluid across a membrane from a lesser to a more highly concentrated solution.

Ossification – formation of bone.

Osteophyte – an abnormal bony outgrowth.

Osteoporosis – increased porosity of bone.

Osteotomy – cutting of bone, either to reposition it, or remove it.

Outcomes – the results of surgery in terms of patient satisfaction, reduction of pain, improved function etc.  Outcomes are tracked by hospitals and practices.



Palmar – (anatomical) pertaining to the palm of the hand.

Palmar (volar) flexion – (movement) movement of the hand toward the palm side.

Para – prefix meaning 'beside', 'accessory to' or near.

Patella – (knee cap) is a small and triangular-shaped.  It partially forms the anterior portion of the knee joint.  It overlaps the distal end of the femur and the proximal end of the tibia.

Patient Satisfaction Surveys – surveys which seek to measure patients' satisfaction with their surgery, recovery etc.  These form part of the outcomes data.

Pedal – pertaining to the foot.

Pelvis – a basin or basin-like structure.  The pelvis is composed of four bones: the two ossa innominata (hip bones) together with the sacrum and coccyx in the rear, form the pelvis.  It is a deep basin-shaped structure designed to protect the organs in the abdomen in much the same way as the ribs protect the heart and lungs.

Peri – a prefix meaning 'around'.

Peripheral – located on or near the surface of a part.

Periosteum – the thin membrane covering the bone (contains nerve and blood vessels).

Pes – the foot.

Phalanges – (finger bones) each hand has fourteen phalanges.  Each finger has three phalanges:  Distal, middle and proximal.  The distal is the bone on the end (tip), the middle is in the centre, and the proximal is closest to the hand.  The thumb has only two phalanges:  A distal and a proximal.

Phalanges – (toes) these are similar in number, structure, and arrangement to those in the fingers.

Plantar – (anatomical) pertaining to the sole of the foot.

Plantar flexion – (movement) movement of the foot in the direction of the sole (downwards).

Plasma – fluid portion of the blood.

Plastics – a common term orthopaedics use to refer to polyethylene and more specifically to ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).

PMMA – polymethylmethacrylate (material bone cement is made from).

Polyethylene – a type of plastic formed by the polymerization of ethylene.  Different structural properties come from differences in weight, branching, cross-linkage and crystallinity.  The most common form used in orthopaedic devices is ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).

Pore – small holes or spaces on the surface or interior of a material.

Porous – Characterised by pores and open spaces.

Porous-coated – the design feature of a type of implant where the metal has small surface openings into which bone or tissue is intended to grow for permanent stabilisation.

Posterior – (anatomical) at the back or toward the back, usually referring to the spinal side of the body (opposite of anterior).

Press-fit – describes the fit at the interface of an implant with the surrounding bone.  The implant is implanted without cement and is tightly 'pressed' or impacted into the patient's bone.

Primary – initial or first.  In joint replacement, this term is used to indicate the first surgery to repair or replace a joint as opposed to a revision surgery which replaces or revises an implant.

Process – a slender projecting point.

Prognosis – replacement of a missing part by an artificial substitute.  An artificial organ or part.

Prone – (body posture) lying on the front of the body (the opposite of supine).

Pronation – (movement) turning the forearm so that the palm is down (opposite of supination).

Prosthesis – an artificial substitute for a body part.  An artificial organ or part.

Protract – to extend forward or outward (opposite of retract).

Proximal – (anatomical) situated or directed nearer to the area under consideration (opposite of distal).

Pseudarthrosis – a false joint developing after a fracture that has not united.

Pseudo – a prefix meaning 'false'.

Pubis – pubic bone.



Radiolucent – allowing x-rays to pass through, radiolucent areas appear dark on x-rays.

Radius and ulna – (bones in the forearm) when the arm is in the normal anatomical position with the palm facing forward, the radius is on the lateral or thumb side and the ulna is on the medial or little finger side.  When the hand is pronated (palm down), the bones rotate on each other and the radius crosses over the mid-point of the ulna.  This enables the arm to turn the wrist and hand as in opening doors and unscrewing bottle tops.  The ulna joins the humerus and articulates with the radius at both ends.  To articulate means to join by a joint.  The radius articulates with the humerus (upper arm bone) and with the ulna at both ends and with some of the carpals (wrist bones).

Ream, Reaming – meaning to gouge out holes or enlarge holes already made.  In orthopaedic surgery, bones need to be reamed to allow for the implantation of a prosthesis.

Recurvatum – hyperextension of the knee.

Recumbant – (body posture) the position of the body when lying down.

Reduction – restoration to normal position.

Red marrow – where the red blood cells are manufactured in the bone (the marrow cultivated for bone marrow transplants).

Retract – to pull back (opposite of protract).

Retrieve, Retrieved, Retrieval – to remove an implant from a patient.

Retro – prefix meaning 'behind'.

Retroflexion – a backward bending of one part of an organ on another portion (opposite of anteflexion).

Retroversion – a backward turning, the entire organ is turned backward (opposite of anteversion).

Revision – in orthopaedic surgery, this term indicates a subsequent surgery to alter, replace or remove an implant.

Ribs -  twelve ribs are located on each side and all articulate posteriorily with the thoracic vertebrae.  The first seven pairs are connected to the sternum by means of the costal cartilages and are called true ribs.  The remaining five pairs are called false ribs, because they do not directly attach to the sternum.  The 8th, 9th and 10th pairs are joined to the cartilage of the 7th; the 11th and the 12th pairs are unattached anteriorly and therefore known as floating ribs.

Roentgenogram – a photograph made by means of roentgen rays or x-rays.  The rays are named in honour of the their discoverer.

Roentgenoscopy – examination by means of a fluoroscope.

ROM – range of motion.  The area through which a joint may be moved in all planes, measured in degrees.  The greater the ROM, the more flexible the joint.  One of the goals of joint replacement is to improve a patient's ROM in the joint that may have been lost to arthritis, trauma or deformity.

Rotation – (movement) – a bone rotating on its own axis – may be medial (internal) or lateral (external).



Scoliosis – lateral abnormal curvature of the spine.

Semilunar – shaped like a moon.

Septic – infection due to presence of pathogenic organisms.

Serrated – having a saw-tooth edge.

Serum – clear portion of any animal fluid.

Shear – a biomechanical term meaning a load parallel to the surface of a structure.  Shear strength is the amount of resistance in a material to angular deformation (bending) resulting from shear forces.

Shell – the acetabular component, the part of a hip replacement that serves for the hip socket.

Short bones – are such as the carpus (bones that make up the hand) and tarsus (bones that make up the foot) used for strength.

Shoulder – made up of the clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade).

Sinus – a cavity.

Skeleton – the hard framework of the body.  Usually divided into the axial (trunk, spine and skull) and the appendicular (extremities) skeleton.

Spinous – a spine-like process.

SS – stainless steel.

Stem – a device (or tissue or substance) that is transferred, grafted, or inserted into a living body.

Sterile – clean and free from all living micro-organisms.

Structure of bone – contains three parts (compact bone, cancellous bone and the medullary canal) and is covered with periosteum.

Sternum - (breast bone) a flat bone.  It has three parts.  The upper part is the broadest and is called the manubrium.  The long portion beneath the manubrium, where the majority of the ribs articulate, is called the body.  The arrow-shaped tip below the body is called the xiphoid process.

Sub – a prefix meaning 'below' or 'beneath'.

Subclavian – beneath the clavicle.

Subluxation – a partial or incomplete dislocation.

Submaxillary – beneath the maxilla.

Subscapula – beneath the scapula.

Sac – any bag-like organ.

Sacrum – five fused vertebrae below the last lumbar vertebrae.

Saggital – pertaining to the median vertical plane of the body.

Scapula – the scapula (shoulder blade) is triangular-shaped.  Most of the important structures are on the outer top part of the bone.  These structures are the glenoid fossa, in which the humerus articulates and gives the arm the ability to swing around almost completely; the acromonion process, which caps the shoulder joint, and the coracoid process, which helps in tying the clavicle into the joint.



Talus – the ankle, a bone of the ankle.  The tarsal bone articulating with the distal tibia and fibia.

Tarsus – there are two meanings for tarsus, the first is: the seven bones forming the back portion of the foot.  The second is the connective tissue framework of the eye.

Telesession – an instructional course or lecture provided by one-way video, often a telesession consists of an expert surgeon discussion and/or demonstrating specific techniques or characteristics of an implant system.

Template – an outline used to trace bones in order to standardise its form.  Surgeons use templates of implants to measure against a patient's x-rays to select the best size and best design for the patient's anatomy and surgical needs.

Tendons – are fibrous connective tissue, similar to ligaments, but their main function is to attach muscles to bones and other parts (otherwise known as sinews).

Tensile strength – a biomechanical measurement of the amount of stress required to cause a given material to fail.

Thoracic Cage - the thorax is a cone-shaped cage formed by the sternum and grouped cartilages in front, 12 ribs on each side, and the bodies of the vertebrae behind.  It houses the heart, lungs, and vital organs of circulation and respiration.

Ti – the abbreviation for Titanium, a metal often used in implants.

Tibia – (shin bone) is the larger of the two bones between the knee and the foot and lies on the medial side.  It's proximal end articulates with the femur to form the knee joint, and with the fibula; it's distal end articulates with the talus and again with the fibular and produces a prominence or bump easily felt on the inner side of the ankle.  This prominence is called the medial malleolus.  This bone supports 5/6's of the body's weight.

TiN – a specially manufactured, patented type of titanium coating used instead of CoCr if a patient is nickel intolerant.

Tissue – a collection of similar cells specialised to perform a particular function.

Titanium – a metal often used in the manufacture of orthopaedic devices or implants.  It has good fatigue, wear and strength characteristics and is often combined with other metals in alloys which enhance desirable characteristics.

Trabecular – a type of mature bone commonly found at the ends of bones, it is composed of a lattice-work of bony plates and columns.  Its structure gives trabecular bone a great deal of strength despite having less bony material than cortical bone.

Trochanter – a large prominence for attachment of rotator muscles.

Trochlear groove – the articular portion of the anterior surface of the distal femur (the front-facing notch at the lowest part of the femur where the femur joins the knee joint, this groove provides a shallow depression where the patella slides as the knee articulates).

Tubercule – a small rounded elevation of eminence on a bone.

Tuberosity – broad eminence on a bone.



UHMWPE - ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, a type of polyethylene with superior wear properties, very commonly used in orthopaedic devices.

Ulna – the inner and larger bone of the forearm.  In the correct anatomical position, palms forward, the inner and outer bone of the forearm, between the wrist and the elbow, on the side opposite the thumb.

Ultra-congruent – highly congruent, contains a high degree of constraint between two articular implants.

Uncemented – a prosthesis that is implanted without cement.

Upper extremities – consist of the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist and hand.  The bones that form the framework for the upper extremities are the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (arm), the radius and ulna (bones that make up the forearm), the carpals (wrist), the metacarpals (palm) and the phalanges (fingers).



Valgus and Varus – (anatomical) pertaining to the angle formed by the medial surface of the two bones of an extremity joint.  Valgus means that the angle is greater than normal; Varus means that it is less than normal.  These terms are usually applied to the elbow, hip, knee and ankle joints.

Vastus – wide or great.

Vertebrae – a typical vertebra consist of an anterior portion or body, and a posterior portion or arch.  A cavity between the body and the arch is called the spinal foramen.  The foramen allows passage of the spinal cord.  Many of the vertebrae have a spinous process that projects posteriorly from the arch, and two transverse processes that project laterally.  The spinous process can be easily felt in the midline of the back.  Between the vertebrae are specialised intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers and are composed of fibrous cartilage.

Vertebral column – is the backbone or spin.  It is the central part of the skeleton and its functions are to support the head, thorax, and extremities, and to afford a protective canal or passageway for the spinal cord.  The spinal column consists of 24 moveable or true vertebrae, the sacrum, and the coccyx or tail bone.  The spinal column is divided into five regions:  Cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), lumbar (loin), sacral and coccygeal (both in the pelvis).

Vertex – the summit or apex.

Viscous – sticky thick fluid.

Vitreous – glassy.

Volar – (anatomical) pertaining to the palmar surface of the hand or forearm.

Voluntary – performed in accordance with will (opposite of involuntary).



Wear – the loss of material from solid surfaces due to mechanical abrasion.



Yellow marrow – mainly fats within bone.



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