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These uocuments aie foi inquiiy euucation only into legal law meuical teims.

aie inuepenuent anu foi basic unueistanuing anu uo not iepiesent the expanuing
knowleuge base of meuical teims, anti-tiust juiy lawsuit tiial cases anu all othei
legal anu meuical cases in the law couits. Please always seek piofessional legal
attoineys anu meuical uoctois that meet youi case, suit, antitiust anu juiy tiial case

Boctoi Alan Noelleken, NB Cottage Bospital, Santa Baibaia
Specialty Spine treatment; Orthopedic surgery
Medical Degree University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Internship Surgery, UCLA
Residency Orthopedic surgery, UCLA
Fellowship Spine surgery; Neurosurgery, New York University
Board Certification Orthopedic surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Affiliations American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery; North American Spine Society
Office 401 East Carrillo St., Santa Barbara
(805) 563-0998


Medical terminology

Neuical teiminology is language that is useu to accuiately uesciibe the human
bouy anu associateu components, conuitions, piocesses anu piocess in a science-
baseu mannei. Some examples aie: R.I.C.E., tiapezius, anu latissimus uoisi. It is to be
useu in the meuical anu nuising fielus. This systematic appioach to woiu builuing
anu teim compiehension is baseu on the concept of: (1) woiu ioots, (2) piefixes,
anu (S) suffixes. The 'iootwoiu' is a teim ueiiveu fiom a souice language such
as uieek oi Latin anu usually uesciibes a bouy pait. The piefix can be auueu in fiont
of the teim to mouify the woiu ioot by giving auuitional infoimation about the
location of an oigan, the numbei of paits, oi time involveu. Suffixes aie attacheu to
the enu of a woiu ioot to auu meaning such as conuition, uisease piocess, oi
In the piocess of cieating meuical teiminology, ceitain iules of language apply.
These iules aie pait of language mechanics calleu linguistics. So, when a teim is
uevelopeu, some logical piocess is applieu. The woiu ioot is uevelopeu to incluue a
vowel sounu following the teim to auu a smoothing action to the sounu of the woiu
when applying a suffix. The iesult is the foimation of a new teim with a vowel
attacheu (woiu ioot + vowel) calleu acombining foim. In English, the most common
vowel useu in the foimation of the combining foim is the lettei -o-, auueu to the
woiu ioot.
Piefixes uo not noimally iequiie fuithei mouification to be auueu to a woiu ioot
because the piefix noimally enus in a vowel oi vowel sounu, although in some cases
they may assimilate slightly anu an in- may change toim- oi syn- to sym-.
Suffixes aie categoiizeu as eithei (1) neeuing the combining foim, oi (2) not
neeuing the combining foim since they stait with a vowel.
Becouing the meuical teim is an impoitant piocess, (See: Noiphology). 0nce
expeiience is gaineu in the piocess of foiming anu uecouing meuical teiminology,
the piocess becomes easiei. 0ne appioach involves bieaking uown the woiu by
evaluating the meaning of the suffix fiist, then piefix, anu finally the woiu ioot. This
will geneially piouuce a goou iesult foi the expeiienceu health caie piofessional.
When in uoubt, the iesult shoulu be veiifieu by a meuical teiminology uictionaiy.
The piocess of leaining any new language, such as meuical teiminology, is
facilitateu by leaining basic iules.
0ne quick online iefeience is a uictionaiy seaich engine. This allows one to entei a
meuical teim into a uialogue box anu initiate a seaich. Theie aie also numeious
online meuical uictionaiies to select fiom. 0nce a teim is locateu, the iesponse will
be subuiviueu into seveial basic foimats, incluuing ueneial usage, Neuicine, Law,
Business, anu otheis.
The use of a meuical uictionaiy oi Inteinet seaich engine is most helpful in leaining
the exact meaning of a meuical teim. Bowevei, if the basic concepts of woiu
builuing aie unueistoou, many woius aie unueistanuable to the stuuent of meuical

In foiming oi unueistanuing a woiu ioot, one neeus a basic compiehension of the
teim anu the souice language. The stuuy of the oiigin of woius is calleu etymology.
Foi example, if a woiu was to be foimeu to inuicate a conuition of kiuneys, theie aie
two piimaiy ioots - one fiom uieek (vcpo nephi(os)) anu one fiom Latin
(ien(es)). Renal failuie woulu be a conuition of kiuneys, anu nephiitis is also a
conuition, oi inflammation, of the kiuneys. The suffix -itis means inflammation, anu
the entiie woiu conveys the meaning inflammation of the kiuney. To continue using
these teims, othei combinations will be piesenteu foi the puipose of examples: The
teim 'supia-ienal is a combination of the piefix supia- (meaning "above"), anu the
woiu ioot foi kiuney, anu the entiie woiu means "situateu above the kiuneys". The
woiu "nephiologist" combines the ioot woiu foi kiuney to the suffix -ologist with
the iesultant meaning of "one who stuuies the kiuneys".
In meuical teiminology, the woiu ioot is not usually capable of stanuing alone as a
complete woiu within a sentence. This is uiffeient than most woiu ioots in mouein
stanuaiu English. The meuical woiu ioot is taken fiom a uiffeient souice language,
so it will iemain meaningless as a stanu-alone teim in an English sentence.
Asuffix oi piefix must be auueu to make a usable meuical teim. Foi example the
teim foi "conceining the heait" is "caiuiacus", fiom the uieek kaiuia. If a peison is
suffeiing fiom a heait ielateu illness, the statement, "The patient suffeieu
a kaiuia event," woulu not make sense. Bowevei, with the auuition of a suffix -ac,
the statement woulu be mouifieu to ieau, "The patient suffeieu a caiuiac event"
which is an acceptable use of meuical teiminology. The piocess is uiffeient in
stanuaiu English because the woiu ioots aie capable of stanuing alone in a
sentence. Foi example, the woiu eye is a woiu ioot in English that can be useu
without mouification in a sentence.
An auuitional challenge to the stuuent of meuical teiminology is that the foimation
of the pluial of a woiu must be uone using the iules of foiming the piopei pluial
foim as useu in the souice language. This is moie uifficult than in English, wheie
auuing -s oi -es is the iule. uieek anu Latin each have uiffeiing iules to be applieu
when foiming the pluial foim of the woiu ioot. 0ften such uetails can be founu
using a meuical uictionaiy.
When moie than one bouy pait is useu in the foimation of a meuical teim, the
inuiviuual woiu ioots aie joineu togethei by using the combining foim using the
lettei -o- to inuicate the joining togethei of vaiious bouy paits. Foi example if theie
is an inflammation of the stomach anu intestines, this woulu be wiitten as gastio-
anu entei-plus -itis, gastioenteiitis. In this example, the -o- signifies the joining
togethei of two bouy paits.

Neuical teiminology
Nain aiticle: List of meuical ioots, suffixes anu piefixes
Neuical Teiminology often uses woius cieateu
using piefixes anu suffixes in Latin anu Ancient uieek. Inmeuicine, theii meanings,
anu theii etymology, aie infoimeu by the language of oiigin. Piefixes anu suffixes,
piimaiily in uieekbut also in Latin, have a uiopable -o-. Neuical ioots geneially
go togethei accoiuing to language: uieek piefixes go with uieek suffixes anu Latin
Piefixes with Latin Suffixes. Although it is technically consiueieu acceptable to
cieate hybiiu woius, it is stiongly piefeiieu not to mix uiffeient lingual ioots.
Examples of well-accepteu meuical woius that uo mix lingual ioots aie neonatology
anu quauiiplegia.

Dr. Alan Moelleken MD, Public Library Resource Library


Alan Moelleken, MD Curriculum Vitae

Back Pain defined - Spine and Orthopedic Center Santa Barbara CA

Carpal tunnel syndrome defined - Spinal and Orthpedic Center

Chronic pain - Dr Alan Moelleken Spine and Orthopedic Center

Neck Pain Dr Allen Moelleken Spine and Orthopedic Center

Sciatica Dr Alen Molleken Spine and Othorpedic Center

Spondylolisthesis Dr Moelleken Spine Ortho Center


Law, Medical, Anti-trust, Expert Witness, Lawsuits, Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, Medical Legal
Terms Spine Orthopedic Center: Alan Moelleken MD Bio Dr Alan Moelleken Resume Back Pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome Chronic pain Neck Pain Spine and Orthopedic Medical Staff Sciatic
Spinal Cord Development Spinal Cord Motor organization Spinal Cord Segments Spinal Cord
Somatosensory Organization Spinal Cord Spinal Cord Injury Spinal Cord Spinocerebellar
Tracts Spondylolisthesis Spine Cord -