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A flat bone that is part of the shoulder blade and is present above the shoulder joint

Acromioclavicular joint

The joint between the clavicle and the acromion

Anchors Metal screws that have sutures attached to them

Arthroscope A telescope that can be introduced into joints

Arthroscopy Also known as key hole surgery. A method of using small holes to introduce a camera and instruments to diagnose and treat shoulder problems

Bursa A small sac of fluid situated between the acromion and the rotator cuff muscles giving a cushioning effect

Capsule A sac surrounding the shoulder joint

Calcific tendonitis Inflammation in the rotator cuff tendons caused by the deposition of calcium crystals

Cartilage Soft tissue that lines joint surfaces allowing bones to glide. It also acts as a shock absorber

Coracoacromial arch The arch formed by the acromion and the coracoacromial ligament

Coracoid A knuckle of bone protruding from the front of the shoulder blade

Clavicle The collar bone

Dislocation When the ball pops out of the socket of a joint

Distension arthrogram A radiological treatment of frozen shoulders. Here fluid is injected into the shoulder joint to try and distend it causing a breakdown of scar tissue

ECG Electro cardio gram Test to check the function of the heart

Extension Straightening a joint This causes the bones connected by the joint to move away from each other

Flexion Bending of a joint This causes the bones connected by the joint to be approximated

Frozen shoulder A condition where movement in the shoulder gradually decreases causing pain and disability

Humerus The upper arm bone

Hydrotherapy pool A pool with warm water used by physiotherapists for treatment

Impingement Pain caused by pinching of the rotator cuff tendons between the acromion and the shoulder joint

Instability A condition where the shoulder joint is not stable

Key hole surgery See Arthroscopy


Lip of the socket of the shoulder that deepens it to prevent dislocation

Ligament Band of tough tissue that connect bone to bone around joints. They provide stability to joints.

Local anaesthetic A drug that that is injected into tissues and joints. It deadens the area by blocking nerves and is used for pain relief or to perform minor surgery

MRI scan Magnetic Resonance Imaging - A non invasive technique that uses a powerful magnet and computers to obtain three dimensional pictures of body structures

MRSA Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Staphylococcus Aureus is a common bug found in the nose skin etc of healthy people. Some strains of Staphylococcus Aureus have developed resistance to the antibiotic Methicillin. They are harder to treat and cause more problems

Orthopaedic surgeon A doctor who specialises in the management of musculoskeletal disorders.

Osteoarthritis A disease where the cartilage covering of joint surfaces is lost. This leads to pain, swelling and loss of motion. It is also known as degenerative joint disease

Physiotherapy A branch of treatment that uses physical means to relieve pain, regain range of movement, restore muscle strength and return patients to normal activities of daily living

Physiotherapist A practitioner of physiotherapy

Prosthesis Artificial implant

Radius Bone on the outside of the forearm

Radiologist A Doctor who specialises in the use of x-rays, ultrasound, MRI scans and CT scans for diagnosis and treatment

Regional block A method of anaesthesia used to deaden parts of the body without putting the patient to sleep

Rheumatoid arthritis A disease that causes inflammation of joints, muscles, tendons etc. It leads to destruction of the joint causing pain, swelling and loss of motion

Rotator Cuff A group of four muscles present in the subacromial space. They are attached to the top of the humerus and move and rotate the arm

Scapula The shoulder blade

Shaver An instrument to take away bone during arthroscopic surgery

Shoulder joint A ball and socket joint at the upper end of the humerus

Spurs Bony growths that form with overuse and arthritis

Steroid A drug that is injected into tissues to decrease inflammation. This is used for pain relief and can last for weeks to months. Can often be very painful in the first few days after injection

Subacromial space The space beneath the acromion and above the rotator cuff.

Surface replacement A minimally invasive, bone preserving type of joint replacement. This is a metal cap that is fitted on to the ball of the shoulder joint

Surgilig ligament Artificial ligament used to repair dislocated acromioclavicular joints

Sutures Stitches

Tendon Strong band that connects muscles to bones

Tendonitis Inflammation of tendons

Ulna Bone on the inside of the forearm

Ulnar nerve Nerve on the inside of the elbow. Irritation causes pins and needles in the little and ring fingers

Ultrasound A non-invasive, painless method of looking at the tissues within the body

Vaporiser Instrument used to burn away tissue