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Glossary of Terms

What it all means:


  • Ambulate - Walking

  • Anti-inflammatory - Arthritis medication

  • Articular - Relating to a joint or joints: the articular surfaces of bones.

  • Bursa - Small fluid-filled sac or saclike cavity situated in places where friction would otherwise occur; ie. knee, shoulder, elbow, & hip.

  • Carpal Tunnel - A compartment in the wrist through which various tendons and the median nerve must travel on their way from the forearm to the hand.

  • Co-Insurance - Percentage due from the patient after insurance has processed and issued payment on a claim.

  • Co-Pay - The fixed dollar amount that may be collected from the patient.

  • Discectomy - Excision, in part or whole, of the disk that separates the vertebrae.

  • Epidural Injection - The injection of a drug (usually cortisone) into the space between the bone of the spinal column and the soft tissue portion of the spinal canal.

  • EOB - Explanation of Benefits. Documentation provided by your insurance carrier of a claim that was processed showing date of service, billed amount and pain amount.

  • Fracture - A crack or break in a bone as a result of an injury. (See pathologic fracture)

  • Labrum - An edge, rim, or lip. In a shoulder the labrum is a rim of cartilage.

  • MRI - Abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. - An imaging study which utilizes a strong magnetic field and a computer system to produce a view of internal body parts.

  • NPO - Nothing By Mouth. No liquid or solids to be taken by mouth.

  • Participating Provider - A physician who is enrolled in a network of physicians associated with a particular health plan.

  • PCP - Primary Care Physician. The patient's primary or family physician

  • Physiatrist - A physician whose primary focus is restoring function by treating musculoskeletal problems, including acute and chronic pain.

  • PRN - A term used in medicine to mean "as necessary".

  • Referral - In relation to medical insurance, referral means authorization from the patient's PCP to seek treatment from a specialist.

  • Rehabilitation - The process of restoring a person's ability to live and work as normally as possible following a disabling injury or illness.

  • Sciatica - Pain in the buttock, back of the thigh, or in the leg or foot, following the course of the branches of the sciatic nerve.

  • Sprain - A tear or stretching in a ligament, resulting in pain and swelling.

  • Steroid Dose Pack - A prescription of steroids that tapers in quantity for six days.

  • Tarsal Tunnel - A compartment located at the inside of the ankle through which passes one of the larger nerves as it travels to the foot.

  • TPA - Third Party Administrator. The insurance company who issues payment for services rendered.

  • Vertebrae - Any of the bones or cartilaginous segments forming the spinal column.

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