Essential knee terminology
AAHKS search for term

AAHKS is an abbreviation for the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.

AANA search for term

AANA is an abbreviation for the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

AAOS search for term

Abbreviation for 'American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons'.

Abduct search for term

To abduct is to move the limb away from the midline, and towards the outer side, with the trunk upright.

Abductor search for term

An abductor is a muscle which, when contracted, causes the limb to abduct.

Abrasion arthroplasty search for term

Abrasion arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to smooth off bits of damaged joint cartilage using a high-speed burr.

Achilles tendon search for term

The achilles tendon is the big tendon at the back of the ankle.

ACI search for term

ACI is an abbreviation for 'autologous chondrocyte implantation'.

ACL search for term

ACL is an abbreviation for 'anterior cruciate ligament'.

ACL allograft search for term

An ACL allograft is a graft from a donor to reconstruct the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).

ACL autograft search for term

An ACL autograft is a reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament using tissue obtained from the same patient.

ACL Rehabilitation search for term

ACL rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is phased from early post surgery to return to normal function, including sport.

ACT search for term

ACT is an abbreviation for 'autologous chondrocyte transplantation'.

Actifit search for term

Actifit is a polyurethane meniscal scaffold to replace damaged meniscus, and into which new tissue can grow.

Active assisted flexion search for term

Active assisted flexion is a seated exercise, where active flexion of the knee is helped further by pressure from the good leg.

Activities of Daily Living Scale search for term

Activities of Daily Living Scale is an assessment of the fundamental skills generally needed to manage basic physical needs.

Acupuncture search for term

Acupuncture is a system, based on traditional Chinese medicine, of needling special points on the body to relieve pain or improve well-being.

Adduct search for term

To adduct is to move the limb towards the other limb, towards the middle.

Adductor search for term

An adductor is a muscle which, when contracted, adducts the limb, bringing it closer to the midline.

Adhesions search for term

Adhesions are frond-like filaments which form in the knee in response to inflammation and/or prolonged immobilisation of the knee.

ADLS search for term

ADLS is an abbreviation for 'Activities of Daily Living Scale'.

AIR search for term

AIR is an abbreviation for 'anterior interval release'.

AKP search for term

AKP is an abbreviation for 'anterior knee pain'.

All-inside technique search for term

The all-inside technique of meniscus repair uses various manufactured devices to repair a meniscus tear arthroscopically, without the need for fixing sutures on the outside of the joint.

Allodynia search for term

Allodynia is exquisite over-sensitivity of the skin, where light touch is felt as pain or marked discomfort.

Allograft search for term

An allograft is transplant of tissue that did not originate from the patient but from another person.

Alta search for term

Alta means 'high'.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons search for term

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is a professional body to which most American Orthopaedic Surgeons would choose to belong.

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine search for term

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a national organisation of orthopaedic surgeons specialising in sports medicine, including national and international sports medicine leaders.

AMIC search for term

AMIC is an abbreviation of 'autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis'.

Amputation search for term

Amputation can be above knee, through knee or below knee.

Analgesic search for term

An analgesic is a substance that helps to alleviate pain.

Analgesics search for term

Analgesics are painkillers.

Anatomy search for term

Anatomy means the 'shape' of the structures in the body, and how the different parts correspond to one another.

Aneural search for term

Aneural means 'without a nerve supply'.

Aneurysm search for term

An aneurysm is a 'blow-out' of a blood vessel at a point of weakness, where it may bulge or even rupture.

Angiogram search for term

An angiogram is an X-ray investigation of the blood vessels, where a contrast agent is injected into the blood vessel and an X-ray taken.

Anterior search for term

Anterior means 'in front' or 'in front of'.

Anterior compartment search for term

The anterior compartment of the knee is the geometric space behind the kneecap, usually filled with the fat pad.

Anterior cruciate ligament search for term

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the two cruciate ligaments inside the knee.

Anterior cruciate ligament injury search for term

Anterior cruciate ligament injury may involve a complete or partial tear within the substance tear of the ligament or an avulsion from the bone.

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction search for term

An anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is an operation to replace a damaged anterior cruciate ligament with a ligament graft or a synthetic ligament.

Anterior drawer test search for term

The anterior drawer test is an indicator of the integrity of the anterior cruciate ligament.

Anterior horn search for term

The words 'anterior horn' refer to the anterior horn of the meniscus.

Anterior intermeniscal ligament search for term

The anterior intermeniscal ligament is a stabilising structure at the front of the knee linking the lateral and medial menisci.

Anterior interval search for term

The 'anterior interval' is the region of the knee between the fat pad and the front of the tibia bone (anterior tibial plateau) and the patellar tendon.

Anterior interval arthrofibrosis search for term

Anterior interval arthrofibrosis is the condition of abnormal scarring in the 'anterior interval' - the space below the kneecap and behind the patellar tendon.

Anterior interval release search for term

An anterior interval release is a surgical procedure to remove scar tissue in the 'anterior interval' - a region behind the patellar tendon.

Anterior knee pain search for term

Anterior knee pain is a symptom complex, dominated by 'pain in the front of the knee', particularly on prolonged sitting and navigating stairs.

Anterolateral corner search for term

The anterolateral corner (ALC) is that region on the outer side of the front of the knee.

Anterolateral ligament search for term

The anterolateral ligament (ALL) is a ligamentous thickening of the capsular ligament on the outer side of the knee, in front of the lateral collateral ligament.

Anterolateral rotatory instability search for term

Anterolateral rotatory instability is an excessive internal rotation of the tibia on the femur when the knee is bent, leading to excessive opening of the joint at the outer (lateral ) side.

Anteversion search for term

Anteversion is an abnormal forwards angulation of a bone; the term is usually used in relation to the femur.

Anti-inflammatory search for term

An anti-inflammatory is a substance that decreases inflammation.

AOSSM search for term

Abbreviation for 'American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine'.

Apley's Test search for term

Apley's test is a clinical test to try to identify possible damage to the meniscus.

Aponeurosis search for term

An aponeurosis is a fibrous sheet-like expansion of a tendon, for example of the biceps femoris or quadriceps muscles.

Apoptosis search for term

Apoptosis is the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.

Arcuate ligament search for term

The arcuate ligament is a thickening of the posterolateral capsule at the back of the knee, that contributes to stability of the joint in this region.

Arrow search for term

An arrow in knee surgery is a small barbed fixation device for meniscal repair.

Arthritis search for term

Arthritis is a destructive process of the cartilage (the 'gristle') at the end of the bones.

Arthrofibrosis search for term

Arthrofibrosis of the knee is a complication of injury or surgery where an excessive scar tissue response leads to painful restriction of knee motion.

Arthrogram search for term

An arthrogram is an X-ray highlighting the joint space of the knee rather than the bones.

Arthrolysis search for term

Arthrolysis is the surgical cutting and removing of scar tissue in a stiff joint.

Arthropathy search for term

Arthropathy is a non-specific term implying disease of a joint.

Arthroplasty search for term

An arthroplasty is a joint replacement.

Arthroscope search for term

An arthroscope is the main instrument used for looking into the knee during keyhole surgery - ie arthroscopy.

Arthroscopic search for term

Arthroscopic means relating to keyhole surgery of a joint.

Arthroscopic abrasion search for term

Arthroscopic abrasion is a surgical technique for the management of early arthritis, where the surgeon takes a rotating burr and rubs the damaged surface down to bleeding bone.

Arthroscopic debridement search for term

Arthroscopic debridement is a surgical 'clean up' of the joint cavity via keyhole surgery.

Arthroscopic lavage search for term

Arthroscopic lavage means washing out any blood, fluid or loose debris from inside the joint cavity during a keyhole procedure.

Arthroscopic meniscectomy search for term

Arthroscopic meniscectomy is a surgical keyhole procedure to remove all or part of the meniscus of the knee.

Arthroscopic surgery search for term

Arthroscopic surgery is surgery performed via keyhole surgery or arthroscopy.

Arthroscopic trochleoplasty search for term

Arthroscopic trochleoplasty is a keyhole procedure in patients with trochlear dysplasia to improve the shape of the top of the groove where the kneecap runs.

Arthroscopy search for term

Arthroscopy means 'looking into a joint'.

Articular search for term

Articular means relating to the areas where bones move in relation to one another.

Articular cartilage search for term

Articular cartilage is the white gristle covering the ends of joint bones, where they articulate.

Articular cartilage repair search for term

Articular cartilage repair is the improvement of defects of the joint cartilage, either by surgery or biological intervention.

Artificial meniscus search for term

An artificial meniscus manufactured device that is slipped into the gap where a meniscus has previously been removed. 

Assisted flexion search for term

Assisted flexion is a knee rehabilitation exercise where the good leg acts as a helper to increase the flexion.

Assisted passive extensions search for term

Assisted passive extensions are knee rehabilitation exercises.

Athletic trainer search for term

An athletic trainer is a professional specialising in athletic health care and fitness.

Atrophic search for term

Atrophic means 'wasted', ie muscle wasting.

Atrophy search for term

Atrophy means tissue wasting with actual loss of tissue cells (eg muscle atrophy, limb atrophy).

Autograft search for term

An autograft is a graft taken from one part of a person and transplanted elsewhere in the same person.

Autologous search for term

Autologous refers to tissue that is going to be used for transplant from one part of the body to another in the same person.

Autologous chondrocyte implantation search for term

Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is a surgical procedure involving the injection of a person's own cultured joint cartilage cells back into a prepared defect in the cartilage.


Autologous chondrocyte transplantation search for term

Same procedure as 'autologous chondrocyte implantation' or ACI.

Autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis search for term

Autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis is a one-stage cartilage repair technique.

Autonomic search for term

An autonomic function is body process that occurs outside of voluntary contol - like sweating, blushing, salivating.

Avascular search for term

If a tissue is 'avascular' it is devoid of blood vessels.

Avascular necrosis search for term

Avascular necrosis is cell death caused by interruption of the blood supply.

Avon partial knee replacement search for term

The Avon partial knee replacement is a type of knee replacement for patellar damage.

Avulsion search for term

An avulsion is a tearing away of the normal attachment of an anatomical structure. 

Avulsion fracture search for term

An avulsion fracture is where a tendon or ligament tears off a bone, taking a fragment of the bone away with it.

Axial plane search for term

The axial plane is a transverse plane relative to a standing person.