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Orthopedic Surgery Terms Explained [Easy Guide for Patients] Part 3 – Common Conditions

In part 1 of our Orthopedic Surgery Terms Explained [Easy Guide for Patients], we explained some terms you might find useful when talking to an orthopaedic surgeon about your  diagnostic procedures, and in Part 2 – parts of the body mainly affected by orthopedic conditions. 

Today, we are going to talk about the terms concerning common orthopedic conditions, especially those that need surgical attention. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, please call our outpatient surgery center in the triangle

It’s an inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and sometimes change in structure.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

A condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist – a narrow confined space. Since the median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and three middle fingers, many symptoms may be experienced. 


A dislocation occurs when extreme force is put on a ligament causing the two bone ends to separate. Dislocations can also affect a joint (the point where two or more bones come together). The joint is created as a “ball-and-socket”. A dislocated joint causes the head of the bone (ball) to partially, or completely come out of the socket.


A break in a bone.

Heel Spur 

A bone growth on the heel bone.

Lateral Epicondylitis 

It is also known as tennis elbow – a condition which presents itself as pain caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm.

Medial Epicondylitis 

This is also known as golfer’s elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, or forehand tennis elbow. It is pain caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm. 

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A condition caused by the wear and tear that causes inflammation of the joint, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness.


A condition that develops when the bone is no longer replaced as quickly as it is removed.

Overuse Conditions

Injuries due to minor trauma involving soft-tissue injuries – affecting the bone, muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons. 


A lateral, or sideways, curvature and rotation of the back bones (vertebrae), giving the appearance that a person is leaning to one side.


A partial or complete tear of a ligament. 


A partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon.

Stress Fracture 

A bone injury caused by overuse. 

Trigger Finger 

An irritation of the digital sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons of the finger. When the tendon sheath becomes thickened, or swollen it pinches on the tendon and prevents it from gliding smoothly. In some cases, the tendon catches and then suddenly releases as though a trigger was released. 

Stay tuned for our “Orthopedic Surgery Terms Explained” Part 4, where we will explain other important orthopedic terms.

Outpatient Surgery Center in NC – Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center

Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center is the FIRST AND ONLY outpatient surgery center in the Triangle to specialize exclusively in orthopedic surgery. Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic surgeons perform more than 4,000 outpatient orthopedic procedures on an annual basis.

Our experienced team of highly skilled orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other professional staff work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. The Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center has board-certified surgeons and physicians with advanced training in their respective sub-specialties.

The Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center, NC, is committed to providing you with world-class services during your treatment. Your care will at all times be physician-directed and patient-focused.

Find out more about our outpatient surgery center in the Triangle, by watching this video tour.

Call us to make an appointment or to find out more today!

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.