Essential knee terminology
Pain score search for term

A scoring system used by doctors to 'measure' pain.

Parrot-beak tear search for term

A tear of the meniscus, where an oblique tear rounds off to resemble a parrot's beak.

Partial knee arthroplasty search for term

Replacing part of the knee joint with an implant - this could be one of the tibiofemoral joints or/and the patellofemoral joint.

Partial knee replacement search for term

A partial knee replacement (or unicompartmental knee replacement) replaces one side of the knee with a metal and plastic implant.

Partial meniscal replacement search for term

Replacing an irreparably-damage portion of meniscus with a tissue-engineered one, such as a collagen meniscus.

Partial meniscectomy search for term

A partial meniscectomy is the removal of a part of a meniscus.

Passive extension search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise (stretch).

Paste graft search for term

Grafting cartilage cells in the form of a tissue 'paste'.

Patella search for term

The patella is the kneecap, the small bone sitting over the front of the knee. Plural = 'patellae'.

Patella alta search for term

In patella alta the kneecap rides too high up on the femur (thigh bone).

Patella baja search for term

When the kneecap is positioned too low.

Patella infera search for term

In patella infera the kneecap (patella) rides too low down the femur (thighbone).

Patella stabilisation search for term

Managements to reduce the tendency of the patella to sublux or dislocate sideways out of its underlying groove.

Patellae search for term

Plural of 'patella'.

Patellar search for term

The adjective to describe things related to the patella.

Patellar alignment search for term

The position of the kneecap relative to the groove in the underlying femur bone into which it slides when the knee is bent and straightened.

Patellar brace search for term

A knee brace designed to stabilise or protect the kneecap.

Patellar clunk search for term

An uncomfortable clunk noise (and feeling) of the patella, usually associated with certain types of knee replacement, and due to scarring above the patella.

Patellar dislocation search for term

A painful and distressing event, when the patella jumps clean out of the restraining walls of the groove in which it normally rides.

Patellar dysplasia search for term

An abnormally-shaped patella.

Patellar fracture search for term

A patellar fracture is a traumatic break of the patella bone (knee cap).

Patellar instability search for term

When the kneecap does not ride smoothly in the groove of the femur, popping over to one side, or de-railing.

Patellar malalignment search for term

Patellar malalignment is present when the kneecap runs too far to the side of the groove in the underlying femur bone into which it slides when the knee is bent and straightened.

Patellar mobilisations search for term

Knee rehabilitation exercises to prevent adhesions from tethering down the kneecap and causing a stiff knee.

Patellar resurfacing search for term

Patellar resurfacing is a surgical procedure to replace the joint surface of the patella.

Patellar retinaculum search for term

The fibrous material at the sides of the patella, that act to stabilise it.

Patellar subluxation search for term

When the patella rides suddenly up the side of its groove, but does not fully dislocate.

Patellar tendinitis search for term

Same as 'patellar tendinopathy'.

Patellar tendinopathy search for term

A disorder of the patellar tendon.

Patellar tendon search for term

The patellar tendon is the broad tendon under the kneecap, joining it to the tibia (shin).

Patellar tendon rupture search for term

A patellar tendon rupture is a complete breaking of the patellar tendon under the kneecap.

Patellar tilt search for term

When the patella is tilted to one side, generally the lateral (outer) side.

Patellar tilt test search for term

The patellar tilt test assesses the amount of patellar tilt which can be elicited by an examiner.

Patellar tracking search for term

The gliding of the patella within the underlying groove of the femur bone.

Patellectomy search for term

In the operation of 'patellectomy' the patella bone is cut out.

Patellofemoral search for term

'Patellofemoral' means that area of the junction of the kneecap (patella) and thighbone femur).

Patellofemoral dislocation search for term

When the patella jumps completely out of the walls of the groove in the femur bone, and the joint looks horribly deformed.

Patellofemoral instability search for term

In patellofemoral instabilty the patella (kneecap) changes its relationship to the groove of the femur bone (thighbone) and may partially or fully de-rail.

Patellofemoral joint search for term

The patellofemoral joint is the area of contact of the undersurface of the patella (kneecap) with the femur bone.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome search for term

A group of symptoms which tend to suggest that there is a problem in the joint between the kneecap (patella) and its underlying groove in the femur bone.

Patellofemoral resurfacing search for term

A partial knee replacement of the joint of patella and femur.

Patellofemoral subluxation search for term

When the patella briefly jumps almost out of the walls of the groove in the femur bone, but then returns to its normal position.

Patellofemoral syndrome search for term

Pain experienced around the kneecap caused by a combination of several possible factors.

Pathophysiology search for term

The disordered body processes associated with disease or injury.

PCL search for term

Abbreviation of 'posterior cruciate ligament'.

PCP search for term

Abbreviation of 'primary care physician'.

PE search for term

Abbreviation of 'pulmonary embolus'.

Peri-articular search for term

Meaning 'around the joint'.

Peri-patellar recesses search for term

Anatomical 'gutters' alongside the patella.

Periosteum search for term

The thin web-like covering of fibrous tissue around the outside of bones.

Peroneal nerve search for term

A branch of the sciatic nerve that supplies movement and sensation to the lower leg.

Pes anserine bursa search for term

The pes anserine bursa is a sac (lined space) under the attachments of the pes anserine tendons on the inner aspect of the knee.

Pes anserine bursitis search for term

Inflammation of the pes anserine bursa.

Pes tendons search for term

This is an abbreviation of 'pes anserine' tendons - semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and gracilis.

PF Arthritis search for term

Arthritic joint cartilage destruction of the patellofemoral joint.

PFPS search for term

Abbreviation of 'Patellofemoral pain syndrome'.

PFS search for term

Abbreviation of 'patellofemoral syndrome'.

Physes search for term

Physes are the growth plates of bones in children.

Physical therapist search for term

A clinician specialising in rehabilitation.

Physiotherapist search for term

Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential.

Physis search for term

The growth plate near the end of bones, from which the new bone cells develop. The growth plates fuse in adulthood.

Pigmented villonodular synovitis search for term

An unusual condition of the lining inside the knee joint, where the synovial cells are abnormal - proliferating into both villi (fronds) and nodules, laden with a brown pigment.

Piriformis stretch search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise (stretch).

Piriformis syndrome search for term

Buttock pain due to tightening or irritation of the piriformis muscle.

Pivot shift test search for term

The pivot shift test is a test to assess the integrity of both the anterior cruciate ligament and and also the other key structures that contribute to the knee's stability.

PKR search for term

Abbreviation of 'partial knee replacement'.

Placebo search for term

A placebo is a dummy drug used in clinical trials.

Platelet rich plasma search for term

A blood preparation where the red blood cells have been stripped out but the remaining plasma is rich in platelets.

Platelet-rich-plasma search for term

A blood extract of the clear plasma fluid, enriched with platelets

PLC search for term

Abbreviation of 'posterolateral corner'.

Plica search for term

A plica is a ribbon-like fold of joint lining (synovium) which may be present in any knee as an embryological remnant.

Plica syndrome search for term

The 'plica syndrome' refers to a collection of associated symptoms which are caused by the nipping inside the knee of a fold of joint lining (the plica) between the bone of the femur (thigh bone) and the extensor structures of the knee (kneecap or the muscles above it).

Pluripotent search for term

Referring to stem cells - a cell that has the capacity to differentiate into any cell type within the three main tissue groups of the body.

Polyethylene search for term

A plastic. High grade polyethylene may be a component of a surgical implant, such as a knee replacement.

Polymer search for term

Long chain molecule used for making plastics.

Popliteal search for term

Relating to the popliteal area, ie the recess at the back of the knee.

Popliteal cyst search for term

A popliteal cyst is a fluid-filled lump at the back of the knee.

Popliteal fossa search for term

The indented area at the back of the knee.

Popliteus muscle search for term

A small but important muscle at the back of the knee.

Popliteus tendinitis search for term

Popliteus tendinitis is an overuse condition, where the attachment of the popliteus tendon to the lateral femoral condyle (bone on the outer side of the knee) becomes painful.

Popliteus tendon search for term

The popliteus tendon is the tendon of the popliteus muscle, which is a muscle at the back of the knee. This is a small but important muscle that contributes to the stability of the knee.

Popliteus tendonitis search for term

Same as 'popliteus tendinitis'.

Portal search for term

A portal in the knee is the small cut made by the surgeon during arthroscopy, to allow the passage of the instruments.

Posterior search for term

Posterior means 'behind'.

Posterior cruciate ligament search for term

The posterior cruciate is one of the two cruciate ligaments which are important in stabilising the knee, and is situated behind the anterior cruciate ligament.

Posterior horn search for term

The meniscus is crescentic, with two horns (like a new moon) - and the posterior horn is the one at the back.

Postero-lateral search for term

This is a 'positional' word - meaning behind and to the outer aspect. It is derived from 'posterior' and 'lateral'.

Postero-medial search for term

This is a 'positional' word - meaning behind and to the inner aspect. It is derived from 'posterior' and 'medial'.

Posterolateral corner search for term

The posterolateral corner of the knee is the region on the outer aspect, towards the back of the knee.

Pre-patellar bursa search for term

A lubricating tissue 'pocket' in front of the knee.

Pre-patellar bursitis search for term

Inflammation in the pre-patellar bursa appearing as a tense swelling in front of the kneecap and discreet from the kneecap bone itself.

PRICE search for term

Mnemonic for remembering rehabilitation regime - Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

PRICE and RICE search for term

Mnemonics for the simple rules for managing the injured or inflamed knee.

Pridie drilling search for term

Damaged joint surface is drilled with a fine drill, to enable stem cells to migrate from the bone marrow underneath and to cover the surface with new fibrocartilage cells.

Pridie procedure search for term

The Pridie Procedure is a procedure from the 1980s, where damaged joint surface is drilled with a fine drill, to enable stem cells to migrate from the bone marrow underneath and to cover the surface with new fibrocartilage cells.

Pridie rods search for term

Small carbon fibre rods produced in the '80s, and used in association with the Pridie procedure.

Primary care physician search for term

The family doctor.

Primary Repair search for term

A primary repair is a term used in knee surgery, where a structure (eg ligament, meniscus) is repaired rather than reconstructed.

Primary varus search for term

Bow legs that the person was simply born with.

Prodromal search for term

In the early stages of an illness.

Prodrome search for term

The prodrome is the early phase of a medical problem, before the incident is fully apparent but early symptoms have started.

Progenitor cell search for term

A progenitor cell is a stem cell that is already partially differentiated. A stem cell can multiply an infinite number of times, but a progenitor cell can only multiply a certain number of times.

Progenitor cells search for term

Progenitor cells are stem cells that are already partially differentiated.

PROM search for term

Abbreviation for 'Passive Range-of-Motion'.

Proprioception search for term

Proprioception is the ability to sense the position and movement of a joint in space and it is a key component of balance and knee joint stability.

Proximal search for term

This a positional word - which refers to a position closer to the head.

Proximal realignment search for term

Proximal realignment procedures are those surgical procedures performed above the kneecap in an attempt to better align it in the groove of the underlying femur bone.

PRP search for term

Abbreviation for 'platelet-rich-plasma'.

Pseudo search for term

Pseudo means 'false'. So 'pseudo-locking', for example, is when the knee appears to be stuck in a bent position, but readily unlocks.

PT search for term

Abbreviation of 'physical therapist'.

Pulmonary embolus search for term

A pulmonary embolus is a blood clot shooting to the lungs, usually from a clot in the leg veins.

PVNS search for term

Abbreviation of 'pigmented villonodular synovitis'.

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