Abduction– Moving or pushing an arm or leg away from the body.

Achilles Tendon– The strong tendon joining the muscles in the calf of the leg to the bone in the heel.

Achilles Tendinitis– Inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

Acute– Symptoms that are severe and/or brief in duration.

Adduction– Moving or pulling an arm or leg toward the median line in the body.

Adhesion– Abnormal joining of parts to each other, usually by scar tissue.

Anatomical– Knit to accommodate the contours of the body.

Angulation– Deviation from a straight line, as in a badly set bone.

Anterior– The front part.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament– The ligament that travels from the medial border of the lateral femoral condyle to its point of insertion anterolaterally to the medial tibial spine.

Anterior Drawer– In reference to the knee, movement of the tibia forward beyond normal limits. Often referred to as “drawer sign”, this assists clinicians in determining injury to the ACL.

Appendage– A part or thing attached.

A/P Laxity– Anterior/Posterior laxity, also known as anterior tibial translation, when the tibia shifts forward.

Arthritis– Inflammation of joints.

Arthroscopy– A procedure carried out with an arthroscope. An arthroscope is an instrument with a system of lenses and lights that enables a surgeon to view the inside of a joint. It is used most often to study the knee joint. Arthroscopy reveals abnormalities inside the joint.

Arthrosis– A line of juncture between bones. A degenerative disease of a joint.

Arthrotomy– To surgically open a joint.

Articular– Of or relating to a joint.

Articular Cartilage– Cartilage that cover the articular surfaces of the bone.

Articulation– Where two bones meet to form a joint.

Atrophy– Wasting away of any part, organ, tissue or cell.

Avulsion Fracture– A small portion of bone, with ligament or tendon attached, is pulled away from the main bone segment.


Bi-elastic Knit– Stretches horizontally and vertically

Bilateral– Pertaining to two sides of the body.

Biomechanics– The field of study which makes use of the laws of physics and engineering concepts to describe motion of body segments, and the forces which act upon them during activity.

Bursa– A small serous sac between a tendon and a bone.

Bursae– Connective tissue sacks over bony prominences which facilitate movement by reducing friction.

Bursitis– Inflammation of the bursa, especially of the shoulder or elbow.


Calcaneus– The heel bone.

Calcium Deposit– Abnormal hardening of soft tissue, usually from repeated injury.

Callus– A thickening of or a hard thickened area on the skin.

Carpal-tunnel Syndrome– A nerve disorder that causes pain, loss of feeling and loss of strength in the hands.

Cartilage– Rubbery, fibrous, dense connective tissue- harder than ligaments, softer than bone. Cartilage usually is found between bones and permits smooth movement of joints. The most frequent and significant cartilage injury associated with athletic is damage to the crescent-shaped cartilage in the knee (meniscus).

Cast– A stiff dressing or casing made of dressing impregnated with plastic if Paris or other hardening material such as plastic. Casts are used to immobilize various parts of the body in cases or fractures, dislocations, and moderate or severe sprains.

Cerebral Palsy– A disability resulting from damage to the brain before or during birth.

Chondral– Pertaining to cartilage.

Chondromalacia (Runner’s Knee)– Aching pain behind the kneecap. Pain begins and progresses slowly. It appears in healthy, athletically active young people.

Chronic– The opposite of acute. Chronic means prolonged or slow to heal.

Clavicle– A bone that links the scapula and sternum.

Collagen– A protein chemical substance that is the main support of skin, tendon, bone, cartilage and connective tissue.

Compression– The act of pressing or squeezing together.

Compromise Axis of Rotation– The point at which the femur rotates around the vast majority of the time.

Condyle– An articular prominence of a bone.

Congenital– Existing at birth.

Connective Tissue– the body’s supporting framework of tissue consisting of strands of collagen, elastic fibers between muscles and around muscle groups and blood vessels, and simple cells.

Contracture– Shortening or distortion of a tissue, usually a muscle.

Contusion– A bruising injury that does not break the skin.

Corn– A local hardening and thickening of epidermis (skin).


Degenerative Joint Disease– Arthritis of middle age characterized by degenerative and sometimes hypertrophic changes in the bone and cartilage of one or more joints and a progressive wearing down of opposing joint surfaces with consequent distortion of joint positioning usually without bony stiffening

Diabetic Foot– Frequently results from neuropathy, or nerve damage, in the feet which can lead to a dulling or loss of sensation, making one unable to feel pain, heat or cold; Viscoped should be worn only in non-ulcerative cases.

Dislocation– A displacement of one or more bones at a joint.

Displacement– Removal from the normal position or place.

Distal– Distant from a midline or other point of reference. The opposite of distal is proximal.

Dorsal– Referring to the back of an object.

Dorsiflexion– Backward bending, especially of the hand or foot.

Dystrophy– Abnormal development, degeneration of muscle, weakening.


Edema– Accumulation of abnormal quantities of fluid in spaces between the cells of the body. Edema can accumulate in almost any location in the body. Most common sites include the feet and ankles.

Effusion– The accumulation of fluid in a joint.

Epicondyles– Any of several prominences on the distal part of a long bone serving for the attachment of muscles and ligaments.

Epicondylitis– Inflammation of muscles, tendons, bursa, or periosteum (covering to bones) at the elbow; may be medial or later epicondylitis.

Etiology– The cause of a disease or injury.

Eversion– To turn outward.

Exostosis– A piling up of bone at the site of a new or repeat injury, usually caused by direct trauma.

Extension– An unbending movement around a joint in a limb that increases the angle between the bones of the limb at the joint.

Extensor– A muscle serving to extend a bodily part.

External Rotation– Rotation of a body segment away from the midling of the body.

Extremities– Arms and legs.


Fascia– A thick band of fiberous tissue.

Fat Pad Atrophy– Also known by “thinning of the fat pad”, this condition is characterized by a decrease in the size, or wasting away of the layer of body fat that is normally present to protect the metatarsal phalangeal heads; can also occur in the heel.

Femoral Condyles– The distal end of the femur that joins to the knee.

Femur– The longest and largest bone of the human body, it extends from the hip to the knee.

Fibrosis– The formation of fibrous tissue. Fibrosis is caused by many factors including injury, inflammation and infection.

Fibrositis– An inflammatory condition affecting connective tissue and muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Fibrositis has many causes, including repeated injury, infections or overuse of a part.

Fibula– The lateral calf bone originating at the knee and extending to the ankle. The distal end forms the lateral malleolus.

Fixation– The immobilization of the parts of a fractured bone.

Flat Knit– A knitting technique whereby the product comes off the machines in one contoured sheet. Pieces are sewn together and therefore they have a seam.

Flexion– A bending movement around a joint in a limb that decreases the angle between the bones of the limb at the joint.

Flexor– A muscle serving to bend a body part.

Fracture– A break in a bone, cartilage, tooth or other rigid bone tissue.

Frontal Plane– Referring to surfaces of the body past the midline of the body, of the front.


Glenohumeral– Relating to the connection of the glenoid cavity (shallow cavity in the shoulder) and the humerus (the longest bone in the upper arm).

Grade I Ankle Sprain– Stretching and slight or partial tearing of one or more ligaments in the ankle.

Grade II Ankle Sprain– Stretching and partial tearing of one or more ligaments of the ankle, resulting in weakening and some loss of ankle function.

Grade III Ankle Sprain– A severe injury to the ankle in which one or more ligaments are stretched and totally torn. A severe sprain may include a temporary or lasting dislocation.

Graduated Compression– When the tightness of a support is decreased at the edges.


Haglund’s Deformity (Pump Bump)– Caused from a calcium buildup due to repeated irritation to the Achilles tendon at its insertion point to the calcaneus. This used to be common in women who wore high heels.

Hamstrings– Refers to the three major muscles which are located on the posterior side of the thigh. These muscles function as flexors of the knee.

Heel Bursitis– Formation in the heel area of an irritated or inflamed protective sac of fluid due to irritation caused by a heel spur.

Heel Spur– A hard bony shelf as wide as the width of the heelbone caused by repeated pulling away of periosteum from the heelbone (calcaneous). The repeated stress or injury causes inflammation and calcification of tendons and ligaments in the foot.

Hemiparesis– Muscular weakness or partial paralysis restricted to one side of the body.

High Tibial Osteotomy– A procedure that is indicated in relatively young patients who have unicompartmental degeneration with relative sparing of the patellofemoral joint. The procedure corrects varus deformity of the knee by removal of a wedge of bone from the lateral side of the tibia.

Horizontal Plane– A plane which lies in a crosswise direction.

Humerus– The longest bone of the upper arm extending from the shoulder to the elbow.

Hyperextension– To extend so that the angle between bones of a joint is greater than normal.

Hyperkeratosis– Thickening of the outer layer of skin. It may occur as an inherited disorder, affecting the soles of the feet.

Hypertrophy– Excessive development of an organ or part; increase in bulk as by thickening of muscle fibers.


Immobilize– To fix so as to reduce or eliminate motion.

Incision– A cut made with a sharp instrument through the skin or other tissue.

Indication– A symptom or condition that indicates a necessity of a specific medical treatment or procedure.

Inferior– Situated below and closer to the feet than another.

Inflammation– A response from an injury that may be characterized by redness, heat, pain, swelling and loss of function.

Internal Rotation– Rotation of a body part towards the midline of the body.

Inversion– To turn inward.


Joint Capsule– The thin, cartilagenous, fatty, fibrous, membranous structure that envelops a joint. Fluid inside the joint capsule lubricates the area, allowing bones to glide smoothly against each other.


Kinematic– Of or pertaining to motion.


Lateral– Toward the outside or away from a midline.

Lateral Collateral Ligament– The ligament that runs from the lateral femoral condyle to the fibular head in the knee.

Ligament– A band of fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone or cartilage to bone, supporting or strengthening a joint.

Lumbar– Relating to the lower back region.

Luxation– Bones in a joint that are no longer in the correct functional position to each other. Means the same as dislocation.


Malalignment– Incorrect or imperfect alignment.

Malleolus– The rounded projection on the ankle, on both sides- lateral and medial.

Mechanical Low Back Pain– Low back pain originating from the disc, vertebral body, or posterior elements or might be unrelated to the spine. The most common cause is a lumbar strain after lifting or twisting event or without known trauma.

Medial– Toward the midline or closest to a midline than any other structure.

Medial Collateral Ligament– Refers to the restraint structure at the innermost portion (side) of the knee joint. Resists excessive medial motion.

Meniscus– The crescent shaped cartilage between the femur and tibia.

Metatarsal– The part of the foot between the tarsus and the toes.

Metatarsalgia– A general term for irritation of the metatarsals; aching pain in the metatarsal bones of the foot result from anatomical changes in their alignment.

Morton’s Neuroma– An irritation that is caused by compression of a branch of the plantar nerve between the heads of the metatarsal bones and sometimes occurs when the second toe is larger than the big toe.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)– Special radiological study that allows visualization of scarred or damaged areas of the body.

Muscle– An organ that produces movement by contractions. There are two major kinds of muscles: voluntary (striated) and involuntary (non-striated). Striated muscles are under voluntary control and include most of the muscles of the body.

Musculoskeletal– Relating to both musculature and skeleton.

Musculoteninous Junction– Refers to the point at which tendon meets muscle.


Necrosis– Death. Tissue death (necrosis) results from deprivation of blood supply.

Nerve Palsy– Weakness or failure due to injury of a nerve; it is usually short term, but immediate support is necessary.

Non-compressible– will not “bottom-out”; will return to original shape.


Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Osteochronrosis)– “Growing pain” at the knee, a temporary condition affecting adolescents who exercise vigorously. The powerful quadriceps muscles of the thigh attach to the tibia at a growth zone, a relatively vulnerable area of bone. Pain, tenderness and swelling occur at this point with repeated stress.

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)– Arthritis of middle age characterized by degenerative and sometimes hypertrophic changes in the bone and cartilage of one or more joints and a progressive wearing down of opposing joint surfaces with consequent distortion of joint positioning usually without bony stiffening.

Osteomalacia– A condition characterized by softening of the bones. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, muscle weakness and weight loss. The cause is a deficiency in vitamin D and calcium.

Osteoporosis– Loss of normal bone density, mass and strength, leading to increased porousness and vulnerability to fracture.


Patella– The triangular movable bone that protects the knee joint.

Patella tracking– Refers to the path that the patella follows within the trochlear notch as in a pully system.

Patellar Tendon– The tendon extending from the patella and attaching at the tibial crest (tubercle).

Periosteum– The membrane of connective tissue that closely enfolds all bones except at the articular surfaces.

Plantar– Relating to the sole of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis– A partial or complete tear in the fascia (fibrous connective tissue) of the bottom of the foot. It is characterized by pain just under the heel bone.

Plantar Flexion– Bending or pointing the toe toward the floor.

Popliteal Region– The space behind the knee joint. The space is bounded by ligaments and contains soft tissue including nerves, fat, membranes and blood vessels.

Popliteal Space– The posterior aspect of the knee joint.

Posterior– The rear part, behind.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament– This ligament prevents posterior subluxation of the tibia on the femur. It runs between the lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle to it point of insertion below the joint line on the posterior aspect of the tibia.

Posterior Drawer– Abnormal motion of the tibia back on the femur as the knee flexes, “drawer sign”.

Posterior Tibial Dysfunction– A failure of the posterior tibial tendon; this tendon provides lift to the foot and ankle; when this occurs, the foot tends to pronate.

Posting– A wedge, either medial or lateral.

Pronation– Rotation of a body part (usually the hand or foot) backward, inward or downward.

Prophylactic– Something that helps prevent against injury.

Proprioception– Sensory awareness of a part of the body.

Prosthesis– An artificial device to replace a missing part of the body.

Proximal– Nearest to a point of reference. The opposite of proximal is distal.


Quadriceps– Refers to the muscles on the anterior portion of the thigh which extends the knee.


Radius– The bone on the thumb side of the human forearm.

Rheumatoid Arthritis– A usually chronic disease that is of unknown cause and is characterized by pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling and sometimes destruction of joints.

Rotator Cuff– A structure around the shoulder-joint capsule composed of intermingled muscle and tendon fibers. The rotator cuff provides stability and strength to the shoulder joint.

Rupture– Forcible tearing or disruption of a tissue.


Sacroiliac Dysfunction– Very common with expectant mothers where joint “seizes up” from irritation; very painful and leads to muscle spasm.

Sagittal Plane– The median plane of the body which divides it into two equal halves.

Screw Home Mechanism– Refers to a normal phenomenon which occurs during the final ten degrees of knee extension. A combination of extension and external rotation of the tibia.

Seiver’s Disease– Caused from rapid growth in children; the muscles and tendons cannot keep up with the growth rate of the bone.

Separation– The act or process of separating (to become isolated).

Shear Loading– The application of a load parallel to a surface.

Soft Tissue– All tissue of the body except bone.

Splayfoot– A condition in which the feet are abnormally flattened out.

Splint– A rigid support made from metal, plaster or plastic and used to immobilize an injured or inflamed part of the body.

Sprain– A sudden or violent twist or wrench of a joint causing the stretching or twisting of ligaments and often rupture of blood vessels with hemorrhage to the tissues.

Stabilize– To become stable or steady.

Straight Instability– Abnormal motion along a single plane (i.e. anterior/posterior, medial/lateral).

Strain– The amount of deformation the material experiences per unit of original length in response to stress.

Stress– The force that a materials subjected to per unit of original area.

Subluxation– Partial dislocation (as of one of the bones in a joint).

Superior– Situated toward the head and further away from the feet than another.

Supination– Rotating a hand or foot outward on its long axis. The movement is done with the muscles in the forearm or lower leg.

Synovial Fluid– A fluid within the joint which assists in lubrication and nutrition of the joint.

Synovitis– Inflammation of the synovium, often a complication of an injury, such as a fracture, or of collagen diseases.

Synovium– A thin layer of connective tissue with a free smooth surface that lines the capsule of a joint. Synovial fluid lubricates and facilitates movement of the joint.


Talus– Where the tibia and fibula joint to form the ankle joint, the entire ankle.

Tendonitis– Inflammation of a tendon.

Tendon– A fibrous cord by which a muscle is attached to a bone.

Tendon Sheath– A synovial sheath covering a tendon (as in the hand or foot).

Tenosynovitis– Inflammation of tendon sheath.

Thermoplastic– Capable of softening when heated to change shape and hardening when cooled to keep shape.

Three-dimensional– Knit in such a way as to have more than one dimension.

Tibia– The inner and larger of the two bones of the leg between the knee and ankle.

Tibial Tubercle– A bony prominence on the anterior side of the tibia which serves as an attachment point for the patellar tendon.

Transverse Plane– Divides the body in a horizontal direction.

Tubercle– A prominence on a bone.

Tubular knit– A knitting technique whereby the product comes off the machines as a tube therefore there are no seams.


Ulna– The bone on the little-finger side of the forearm that forms with the humerus and serves as a pivot in rotation of the hand.

Unhappy triad– A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and medial meniscus.

Unicompartmental– Pertaining to one side.


Valgus– Turned outward away from the midline of the body.

Varus– Bending or turning inward towards the midline of the body.

Vertebral Column– Spinal column; the series of vertebrae connected by ligaments.

Vertical Plane– A plane separating right from left.

Viscoelastic– A shock absorbing rubber-like material.


Window Edema– When swelling finds the path of least resistance.