Medical Terminology Glossary: [S]
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Sacral Relating to the sacrum.
Sacroiliac Instability Pathologically excessive movement at the sacroiliac joints.
Sacroiliac Joints The articulations between the lower end of the spine and the bony pelvis.
Sacroiliac Strain Partial tearing of the ligaments attaching the sacrum at the lower end of the spinal column to the ilium, one of the 2 largest of the 6 bones making up the (bony) pelvis.
Sacrum Triangular bone at the base of the spine, connecting it with the bony pelvis.
Salazopyrine A medication chemically related to aspirin and used to reduce inflammation in ulcerative colitis.
Saline Salt solution, at the same concentration as in the blood unless otherwise qualified.
Salpingectomy Surgical removal of fallopian tube(s).
Salpingitis Inflammation of the fallopian tube, usually arising from microbial infection.
Salpingostomy Surgical opening of the fallopian tube, usually to relieve tubal pregnancy.
Salpingo-Oöphorectomy Surgical removal of fallopian tube(s) and ovary or ovaries.
Saphenofemoral junction The point at which the superficial and deep main trunks join in the groin to become the femoral vein.
Schizophrenia, Paranoid An organic brain disease characterised by a disorder of thinking, including hallucinations and delusions of persecution, and by a withdrawal from other people into a private world.
Sciatic Nerve Largest nerve of the body originating from the sacral plexus adjacent to the lower end of the spinal cord and carrying sensory and motor nerve fibres to the majority of the lower limb; it travels down the back of the buttock and thigh, where it divides into the tibial and peroneal nerves.
Sciatica Pain in the back of the thigh (with or without calf) originating from irritation of components of the sciatic nerve in the lower spinal cord and its extension the cauda equina.
Scintigraphy (Scintiphotography) Photographic imagery of the distribution in the body of a previously injected radioactive biological which is concentrated by specific tissues.
Scleroderma Disease of skin and mucous membranes involving infiltration by the protein collagen, resulting in thickening, hardening and impaired function.
Scotoma Blind spot.
Scrotum, Shawl Extension of a fold of the sac containing the testicles above (ventral to) the base of the penis.
Sebaceous Cyst An abnormal sac containing sebum (oil) and keratin (the protein of skin).
Second Stage of Labour The time between the full dilatation (10cm) of the cervix and complete delivery of the infant.
Secondary (of a pathological condition) Resulting from another disease process.
Seminal Analysis Microscopic examination of semen to establish the concentration, motility and range and distribution of normality of sperm, for the purpose of estimating fertility.
Sensory Deficit Malfunctioning of one or more of the components of sensation in one or more parts of the body.
Sepsis Infection, usually generalised.
Septic Shock Low blood pressure, and therefore inadequate supply of oxygen to tissues, because of overwhelming, usually gram-negative bacterial, infection.
Septic Arthritis Infection of a joint or joints by microbes, usually bacteria; it occurs spontaneously more commonly than following surgery on a joint.
Septic Abortion Miscarriage or termination of pregnancy which is caused or complicated by infection of the internal genitals.
Septicemia Generalised disease caused by the proliferation of bacteria in the blood.
Septra (Cotrimoxazole) An antimicrobial combination effective against some bacteria and some protozoa.
Septum, Rectovaginal The fold of peritoneum forming a potential space between the back of the uterus and the front of the rectum, otherwise known as the cul-de-sac or Pouch of Douglas.
Septum Dividing wall of tissue.
Serology Study of the various protein constituents, particularly antibodies, of the liquid part of the blood.
Seroma Accumulation in a tissue of a collection of the watery component of blood.
Seroma Collection of (uninfected) blood fluid free of clot and blood cells.
Seromyotomy Separation of the lining from the overlying muscle, in the case of the stomach for the purpose of selectively destroying the nerve supply to the glands producing acid, leaving the nerve supply to the muscle intact.
Serosa The outer lining of internal organs, notably the bowel.
Serous Effusion The presence of tissue fluid in an air-filled cavity or in a potential cavity.
Serous Watery, as from the liquid component of blood.
Serum Albumen Concentration in the liquid component of blood of the most abundant protein - produced by the liver, a source of amino-acids and a major factor in preventing waterlogging of tissues.
Serum Liquid component of the blood.
Sheath An enveloping structure.
Shift to the Left Increase in the proportion of immature neutrophils, indicating significant generalised acute infection.
Shirodkar Cervical Cerclage The classical form of cerclage originated by its eponymous inventor.
Shock, Systemic Low blood pressure in the circulation to the general body (as distinct from the lungs), diminished blood-supply to tissues and, usually, rapid heart-rate.
Shock, Clinical Low blood pressure, diminished blood-supply to tissues and, usually, rapid heart-rate.
Short Arm Cast Cylindrical rigid forearm bandage not extending to the elbow.
Shunt A bypass or diversion of bodily fluid by a fistula or a mechanical device.
Sigmoid Colon The last section of the large bowel, leading to the rectum.
Sigmoidoscopy Examination of the lower colon with a rigid or flexible lighted instrument introduced through the anus.
Simian Crease Single horizontal major crease of the palm, in contrast with the normal pattern of two parallel creases; bridged Simian is a variant in which the two creases are present but each only partially crosses the palm and is linked to the other by a diagonal.
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) The depiction of detailed internal functional anatomy by computer synthesis of multiple radiographic (xray) images taken from a series of angles after injection of photon-emitting radioactive contrast medium which is concentrated in areas of increased regional blood-flow.
Sinoatrial Node The primary pacemaker of the heart.
Sinus A track leading to an infected or potentially infected cavity.
Sinusitis Inflammation, with or without infection, of one or more of the air cavities of the skull surrounding, and communicating with, the nose.
Sliding, of Hiatus Hernia The commonest variety of hiatus hernia, in which a small part of the upper stomach passes through the passageway for the gullet (esophagus) through the diaphragm, but remains below, rather than alongside (rolling type) the esophagus.
Slit Lamp An illuminated magnifying instrument for examining the deeper layers of the eye.
Small Bowel The narrow calibre bowel connecting stomach to colon and consisting of duodenum, jejunum and ileum.
Smooth Muscle Muscle from internal organs.
Solumedrol An injectable form of corticosteroid medication.
Sonogram See (Diagnostic) Ultrasound.
Spastic Levator Syndrome Pain high in the rectum in response to stimulation of the levator ani, muscles which lift the rectum.
Spastic Triplegia Weakness and incoordination of 3 limbs, caused by damage to the developing brain.
Specific Learning Disabilities Despite overall intelligence in the normal range, preterm infants are prone to deficiencies in various cognitive (intellectual) abilities, which may interfere with their optimal learning ability.
Speculum Instrument for assisting visualisation of an orifice.
Sphincter Valve composed of circular muscle; commonly used to refer to urinary bladder outlet and anus.
Sphincteroplasty, Transduodenal Repair from the bowel of the valve at the exit of the common bile duct into the duodenum.
Spicule A small spike (of bone).
Spinal Stenosis Pathological narrowing of spinal canal, potentially or actually causing irritation or compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Spinal Manipulation Therapy "All procedures where the hands are used to mobilize, adjust, manipulate, apply traction, massage, stimulate or otherwise influence the spine and paraspinal tissues with the aim of influencing the patient's health."
Spleen An organ of the lymphatic system, normally located in the left upper abdomen, and concerned with blood-formation in early life, storage of red blood cells, and filtration of the blood for abnormal particles, including some bacteria.
Splenectomy Surgical removal of the spleen.
Splenic Flexure Syndrome Pain in the left upper abdomen caused by a pocket of gas in the large bowel between transverse colon and descending colon, and relieved by the onward passage of the gas.
Splenomegaly Pathological enlargement of the spleen, the organ in the left upper abdomen concerned with immune mechanisms and the destruction of ageing red blood cells.
Split Thickness Transfer of the uppermost layers of skin from one (donor) site to another (recipient) site to achieve healthy skin coverage of both.
Split Thickness, of Skin Graft Use of only the superficial layers of skin from the donor site so that the lower layers can regenerate normal skin during healing.
Spondylosis Degeneration of the spine.
Spurring Bony protuberances at the edges of joint surfaces, a feature of Degenerative Bone Disease.
Squames The outermost layer of skin.
Squamous Cell The flat "paving-stone"-like building blocks of skin and body cavity linings.
Squamous Flat-celled, typical of the skin and membranes lining the body orifices.
Staphylococcus Aureus A bacterial germ normally present on the skin and capable of causing trivial, serious or even life-threatening soft-tissue and other infections when the integrity of the skin or immune system is breached.
Staphylococcus, Coagulase-negative A bacterial germ normally present on the skin and usually a contaminant of bacteriological culture but sometimes capable of causing trivial, serious or even life-threatening soft-tissue and other infections when the integrity of the skin or immune system is breached.
Stasis Failure of emptying of a hollow organ.
Station, of the Fetal Head Distance in centimetres of the widest diameter of the fetal head (biparietal diameter) below the inlet or brim mother's bony pelvis.
Status Post-Splenectomy The condition of having previously had the spleen surgically removed, for whatever purpose.
Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplant Replacement of diseased White Blood Cells with immature cells from a donor marrow.
Stenosis Incomplete or complete narrowing of a tubular organ or aperture.
Stent An internal rigid tube used surgically to maintain the patency of a tubular organ, typically the ureter.
Sternum Breast bone.
Steroid A compound having biological activities of, but not necessarily similar structure to, any of the large group of hormones produced predominantly by the adrenal cortex.
Stoma An opening or mouth.
Strangulation (of Hernia) Interruption of blood drainage, and consequently blood supply, by a constriction of the bowel.
Strangulation Pathological distortion of a hollow organ sufficient to interrupt its blood-supply.
Stress (Urinary) Incontinence Leakage of urine as a result of coughing, sneezing, straining or other sudden movement.
Stress Test, Cardio-Pulmonary An exercise, usually treadmill, test in which the functionning of the lungs and heart are measured for diagnostic purposes.
Stricture Pathological localised narrowing of a hollow tubular organ, in this case the common bile duct, because of disease or injury.
Stromal Tissue The frame-work or an organ, gland or other body tissue.
Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis See page
Subacute Of moderate duration or severity, between acute and chronic.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Bleeding into the space between the 2 innermost of the three membranes lining the brain and spinal cord.
Subarachnoid Within the space between the inner two (arachnoid and pia) of the three membranes lining the brain and spinal cord.
Subarticular (Immediately) beneath a joint, in this case the knee.
Subcostal Below the ribs.
Subcutaneous (Just) beneath the skin.
Subdural Within the space between the outer two (dura and arachnoid) of the three membranes lining the brain and spinal cord.
Subhepatic Underneath the liver.
Sublaminal Underneath the lamina.
Subluxation Incomplete dislocation.
Submuscular Beneath or behind muscles.
Subphrenic Abscess Localised collection of pus under the diaphragm, accompanied by tissue destruction and usually by pain.
Subphrenic Underneath the diaphragm.
Subseptate Uterus A uterus incompletely divided into two cavities by a wall of tissue.
Subtotal Somewhat short of complete.
Succenturiate Lobe A separate area of placenta connected to the main by a leash of blood-vessels.
Suction Cannula Evacuation See Curettage, Suction.
Superficial Femoral Artery One of the two main branches of the femoral artery (qv).
Superior Mesenteric Artery The principal blood vessel supplying oxygen-rich blood to the small bowel and ascending colon.
Superior Above or towards the top of.
Suppurative Producing pus.
Supraglottic Above the (soft tissues of the) voice-box.
Supraorbital Nerve A nerve carrying sensory fibres from the forehead and passing through a notch in the upper margin of the eye-socket.
Supraorbital Above the eye-socket.
Suprapubic Area of the central lower abdomen above the bony pelvis and overlying the urinary bladder.
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) An abnormally rapid heart-rate originating in pathological electrical activity in the pacemakers or the atria (smaller cavities) of the heart: it is not usually imminently fatal.
Sural Nerve The nerve providing sensation to the skin of the calf.
Surrogate Motherhood Growth of a fetus from another woman's fertilised egg artificially placed in the uterus.
Sympathetic Nervous System Part of the autonomic nervous system.
Symphysis Fundal Height The clinically-measured distance in centimetres from the upper border of the join between the pubic bones at the front of the bony pelvis and the top of the uterus.
Syncope Loss of consciousness and muscular activity because of acutely compromised blood-supply to the brain.
Syndrome An aggregate of characteristic symptoms and clinical signs.
Synechiae Synonymous with adhesions.
Synovial Sarcoma Malignant tumour arising from the lining of a joint, in this case the hip.
Syntocinon A synthetic hormone similar in structure and function to oxytocin, produced by the (posterior) pituitary gland and causing contractions of the uterus.
Systemic The blood circulation to the body as a whole, as distinct from the lungs.Systole The contraction phase of the heart's pumping cycle.
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