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Arthroscopy Of The Shoulder

Glossary: Arthroscopy Of The Shoulder

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 16:50

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are definitions of medical terms related to arthroscopy of the shoulder.

Acromioclavicular joint: The joint between the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) and the collar bone (clavicle).

Acromion: An extension of the shoulder blade that forms the highest point of the shoulder. It joins to the collarbone and is attached to the deltoid muscle at the top of the arm and trapezius muscle at the neck and the top of the shoulder.

Acromioplasty: A procedure in which a small piece of bone is removed from the undersurface and front of the acromion to allow more room for the rotator cuff muscles.

Arthrography: An x-ray technique in which a dye is injected into a joint allowing better visualization of damage to the structures of the joint.

Arthroscope: A thin telescope-like instrument containing a fiber-optic light source and a camera. It is about the size of a pencil and transmits magnified images of the inside of the joint to a television monitor.

Bursa: A fibrous sac that contains fluid. The bursa acts as a cushion that allows tendons to move smoothly over the bone

Clavicle: The collarbone.

Glenohumeral joint: The ball-and-socket joint between the arm and the shoulder.

Glenoid cavity: The shallow socket in the shoulder blade that receives the ball of the upper-arm bone to form the ball-and-socket glenohumeral joint.

Labrum: A thickened firm tissue that surrounds and is firmly attached to the socket of the shoulder joint. It serves to deepen this joint and prevent abnormal motion of the shoulder joint.

Ligaments: Elastic fibers that bind joints together and connect bones and cartilage.

Magnetic resonance imaging: A diagnostic procedure that uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to form serial images of the soft tissues of the body.

Portal: The small incisions made around the shoulder joint for inserting the arthroscope and surgical instruments. Portal incisions are about the size of a small buttonhole.

Rotator cuff: The group of tendons and muscles that attach the bone of the upper arm to the shoulder blade and provide support and mobility to the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder.

Scapula: The shoulder blade.

Synovial fluid: A thick clear fluid that looks like the white of an egg and acts as a lubricant for joints, bursae, and tendons.

Synovial membrane: The inner layer of the capsule that lines a freely moving joint. It secretes a thick fluid that lubricates the joint but that can accumulate in painful amounts when the joint is injured.

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