Medical Apparatus: Imaging Guide to Orthopedic Devices

Glossary: A -C



Terms: Click below for the desired term






Medical Devices, Medical Procedures, and Foreign Bodies:
Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Definitions

by Tim B Hunter, MD, MSc and Mihra S. Taljanovic, MD, PhD



c-. symbol derived from the Latin cum, meaning “with,”  such as “51-year-old patient  c- history of heavy smoking.”

~   symbol for “about” or “approximately.”

=    symbol for “change” or “diagnosis (dx).”

#  symbol for “fracture.”



AAOS. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Abbott-Rawson tube.  A double channeled tube for aspiration of fluid from or injection of fluid into the stomach.

ABF.  Aortobifemoral bypass graft or surgery.

ABLC. Antibiotic laden cement. See antibiotic beads.

Abn.  Abnormal.

AC. Attenuation-corrected FDG PET.

ACD; AICD.  Automatic (implantable) cardioverter  defibrillator. 

ACDF.  Anterior cervical (spine) diskectomy and fusion.

ACLR. Anterior cruciate ligament repair.

ACS. Antibiotic impregnated cement spacer.

Acorn-tip (acorn-tipped) catheter.  Common term for any drainage catheter with a bulbous end having the appearance of an acorn.  Atypical example is a Malecot catheter.  Also a term used for any catheter employed in cystourethography or retrograde pyelography.

ACR-NEMA Standard.  A detailed specification system for the exchange of information between imaging devices.  It has evolved into the DICOM standard.  See also DICOM, NEMA.

acrylic. A generic term used for any compound or polymer derived from acrylic acid. There are acrylic resins and acrylic fibers. These polymers are used in paints, synthetic rubbers, synthetic textiles, and plastics.

ACUTENS.  Acupuncture/transcutaneous nerve stimulation.

Acutrak screw. A headless variable pitch compression fixation screw often used in the fingers. It is a product of Acumed LLC.

A/D converter.  Analog to digital converter.  An electronic device that takes an analog signal and converts it to digital information. 

A to D; ADC; A/D.  Analog to digital conversion. 

AED. Automatic external defibrillator. An increasingly popular and available portable device found in many public places, such as malls, airports, sports stadiums, bus and train stations, trains, and airlines. It is designed to aid a layman in rapidly and automatically assessing the cardiac status of an unconscious patient and safely give a therapeutic defibrillation cardiac shock in cases of ventricular fibrillation or cardiac asystole.

AFB.  Aortofemoral bypass graft or surgery.  Also abbreviation for Acid Fast Bacillus. 

AHRQ. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AICD; ACD.  Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

AIF. Actionable incidental finding.

AI-ML. Artificial intelligence and machine learning.

AJRR. The AAOS American Joint Replacement Registry.

AKA.  Also known as.

ALARA.  As low as reasonably achievable.

Aliasing MRI wraparound artifact.  See wraparound artifact.

ALIF. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion, a type of spinal fusion.

Allograft.  A tissue graft between donor and recipient of the same species but of disparate genotypes; e.g., a cadaver kidney transplant or a kidney transplant from a related donor.

All-on-4 implant. A dental implant in which an entire set of prosthetic (false) teeth are screwed into the 4 heads of an implant which are placed into the upper or lower portion of the jaw. This allows for permanent placement of traditional dentures.

Alloplastic material. Any synthetic material used an alternate to autologous tissues in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.

alloy. A homogeneous mixture (solid solution) of two or more metals often produced by mixing molten metals which dissolve in each other.

Alphanumeric.  Descriptive term referring to a type of computer character or symbol which can either be a letter (upper or lower case), a special symbol (for example, $), or a numeral (0-9).

Alphanumeric.  Descriptive term referring to a type of computer character or symbol which can either be a letter (upper or lower case), a special symbol (for example, $), or a numeral (0-9).

ALTAR. Adverse local tissue reaction, generic term for metal related reactions in the setting of joint arthroplasty, sometimes also called adverse reaction to metal debris.

ALTE.  Acute life threatening event. 

ALVAL. Aseptic lymphocyte-dominated vascular-associated lesions, an adverse localized body reaction from metal debris, most commonly associated with hip arthroplasties. It is a delayed reaction with pseudotumor formation.

Alumina.  Aluminum oxide, which occurs in bauxite, rubies, and sapphires.

Amalgam.  An alloy of two or more metals, one of which is mercury.

AMA.  American Medical Association.  Also abbreviation for [leaving] against medical advice.

Amplatz filter.  A type of inferior vena cava filter.

AMS 800.  A type of artificial urinary sphincter. 

AMS Hydroflex.  A type of penile prosthesis. 

AMS 600.  A type of penile prosthesis.

Analog [data].  A string of continuously variable data; i.e., raw data from an electronic device. 

Annealing. A heat treatment of metal or glass with slow cooling to alter its internal stresses and toughen it.

Angiocath.  A type of intravenous catheter. 

anisotropy. The property of a substance is directionally dependent (anisotropic). It is the opposite of isotropy in which the properties of a substance are identical in all directions. Wood, for example, is anisotropic. It is easier to split along its grain than against it.

ANSI.  American National Standards Institute, a nongovernmental, voluntary federation of trade associations, professional societies, and individuals.  ANSI organizes and publishes national standards.

Anterior cervical plates.  A system of plates and screws placed anteriorly in the spine for fixation of unstable spinal fractures and dislocations or for stabilization of the cervical spine after surgery.

Antibiotic beads.  Any beadlike material impregnated with antibiotics for use in treating bone and joint infections.  The beads are typically composed of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and are packed into the area of infection.  The antibiotics help treat the infection, and the bead packing material provides mechanical support in an area of missing or weakened bone. 

antiglide plate. A fixation plate (usually one-third tubular) placed posterolaterally on the fibula to indirectly reduce a distal fibular fracture by wedging the distal fracture fragment between the plate and proximal fracture fragment with weight bearing providing dynamic compression of the fracture.

AO.  Arbeitsgemeinschaft fu¨r Osteosynthesefragen (AO), known in English-speaking countries as the Association for the Study of Internal Fixation (ASIF). AO was founded in Europe in 1958 to scientifically study and promote the use of internal fixation for the treatment of fractures.

AO plates, screws, system.  Orthopedic apparatus or fixation system designed on the basis of the principles of the AO/ASIF.

AOFAS. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

AOX Antioxidant Polyethylene. A product of DePuy Synthes in which an antioxidant (COVERNOX) is placed into ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).

APTIS DRUJ prosthesis. An enclosed semiconstrained distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) prosthesis designed to restore hand turning and wrist lifting in patients with severe wrist arthritis from trauma or inflammatory changes.

ARLM. Academy of Radiology Leadership and Management.

ARMD. Adverse reaction to metal debris. This occurs when joint implants shed metal particles into the surrounding tissues.

Arthrodesis. Surgical fusion of a joint by the creation of a bony union across the joint.

Arthroplasty.  A generic term for any joint replacement surgery designed to restore joint function.  In many cases, a prosthetic device is used to replace the native joint totally or partially.  A total arthroplasty involves prosthetic replacement of both sides of a joint, whereas a hemiarthroplasty (or hemi-arthroplasty) involves replacement of only one side of a joint, such as a hip bipolar prosthesis.

Arthrex osteotomy plate. Same as Puddu osteotomy plate.

Artifact.  Any image or data point that is artificial, incidental, and not occurring naturally.

ASAP.  As soon as possible. 

ASCII.  American Standard Code for Information Interchange.  A standardized set of 128 7-bit computer codes to represent upper and lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and other common symbols. 
ASD.  This term used to mean atrial septal defect.  In some quarters it has come to mean “airspace disease.” In regard to spinal fusion, the term means adjacent segment degeneration, degeneration developing at a mobile segment above or below a fused portion of the spine.

ASDF.  The left first four letters in the middle row of a keyboard inappropriately typed into requisitions to quickly fulfill a requirement for a “medical history” prior to ordering a radiologic study. 

ASES. American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

ASFAIK.  As far as I know.

ASIF.  Association for the Study of Internal Fixation.  See also AO.

Aspen (back or spinal) brace. A type of spinal brace for stabilization and compression support to the upper or lower lumbar spine.

Aspen device. A lumbar fusion system which does not use pedicle screws. Instead two locking plates are placed on the sides of a spinous process and connected by spikes going into the spinous process.

ASR Hip System. A metal-on-metal hip joint arthroplasty system produced by DePuy Orthopaedics. It suffered from a high revision rate and has been recalled by the manufacturer. See:

ASTM.  American Society for Testing and Materials, now known as ASTM International.  See

ATLS.  Advanced trauma life support.

ATP. Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF, also known as anterior to psoas approach {ATP}), a surgical approach between the retroperitoneum and psoas muscle to a lumbar disk.

Augmentation mammoplasty implant.  A general term for breast implant.

AUS.  Artificial urinary sphincter.

Austin-Moore.   Eponym for a type of hip prosthesis. In the past, the term has been used in a generic sense to represent any hip implant. Austin T. Moore (1899 –1963) performed the first metallic hip replacement in 1942.

Autograft.  A graft in which material is transferred from part of a person’s body to another part; e.g., bone chips taken from the iliac crest being used for bone grafting in spine surgery.

Autologous material or graft. Tissue transferred from one site to another site in the same person.

Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD, AID).  A device that consists of sensing and shocking electrodes in the heart or great vessels and a generator implanted in the chest or abdominal wall.  It is used for the long term monitoring of the heart rhythm and the emergency treatment of ventricular arrhythmias.

AVR; ARV.  Aortic replacement valve.

Axial LIF (or AxiaLif). Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion System, a minimally invasive surgical approach technique to the L5-S1 disk space developed at the University of Pittsburgh for stabilization of the spine at the L5-S1 level.


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BB. Small steel sphere ~ 4.3-4.4 mm diameter with zinc or copper plating used as ammunition with a BB gun, an air powered relatively low velocity gun.

BI; BII; Billroth I and Billroth II gastric surgeries, respectively.

Bandpass; Bandwidth.  The rate at which a signal can be maximally transmitted without distortion or data loss.  

Backboard. See trauma board.

Backup.  Saving one or more copies of data or programs in order to prevent permanent loss of work in the event of a catastrophic event.

Barton tongs.  A metallic clamp with tongs applied to each side of the skull for skeletal traction to treat cervical spine injuries.

BCIS. Bone cement implantation syndrome.

Bateman bipolar endoprosthesis.  A hip prosthesis that combines a femoral stem with a free riding acetabular cup.

Beall valve.  A type of prosthetic heart valve.

Beam-hardening artifact.  A type of computed tomography (CT) artifact that occurs because the x-ray beam in CT scanners is not monochromatic and becomes progressively harder (of shorter wavelength, higher energy) as it passes through tissue.

Beam-width artifact.  An artifact that may be created by the varying width of an ultrasound beam along its course.

BEAR implant. Bridge-enhanced ACL Restorartion Inplant, a resorbable implant made from bovine collagen which is secured in place in a repaired anterior cruciate (ACL) ligament by sutures to bridge the gap between the torn ends. It is gradually resorbed as the ligament scars in with healing.

Bee cell.  A type of pessary.

BHR (Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system). A cobalt-chromium metal cap is placed over the femoral head with a matching metal cup placed in the acetabulum as an alternative to total hip replacement (THR).

Bilboa-Dotter tube.  An intestinal tube placed into the duodenum or jejunum for performance of various gastrointestinal radiologic studies.  The tube is placed with the aid of a stiffening guide wire.

Billroth. Christian Albert Theodor Billroth (1829 –1894) Austrian surgeon who introduced the most commonly used operations for gastric resection, the Billroth I and Billroth II.

Bioabsorbable. A generic term for any medical device or substance placed into the body which is gradually dissolved and absorbed by the body. Bioabsorbable fibers, tubings, films, stents, sutures, fixation anchors, fixation staples, clips, mesh, and scaffolds are some of the uses for bioabsorbable materials.

Bioglass; Bio-Glass; Bio Glass; Bio Glas. Terms referring to a large family of bioactive glasses that can be used as bone substitute or for other biologic functions in a variety of medical applications. These forms of glass have low silica content and higher amounts of sodium, calcium, and phosphorus than ordinary soda lime glasses. They come in a wide range of formulations.

Biogran. A trademark of BIOMET 3i, Biogran is a bioactive glass used to stimulate bone formation in dental procedures. It is a synthetic resorbable material consisting of an internal silica gel surrounded by a calcium phosphate shell.

Biomaterial.  A material brought into contact with living tissue for the treatment of medical and dental conditions.

Bio-Oss. A bone substitute material made from bovine bone and used in dental restorations. It is a trademark of Geistlich Biomaterials.

Biopty gun.  A type biopsy gun in which a spring loaded mechanism is used to rapidly obtain tissue samples with a cutting needle. 

Bipolar electrocoagulation therapy (BICAP).  A form of endoscopic palliation therapy for esophageal neoplasms. 

bipolar (hip) prosthesis.  A type of hip hemiarthroplasty, a hip prosthesis that combines a free riding acetabular cup press fit into the native acetabulum.  The acetabular cup articulates with a prosthetic femoral head and stem component.

Bird’s nest filter.  A type of inferior vena cava filter.

Bit.  Binary integer, the fundamental unit of information in a digital computer.  It has a value of either 0 or 1.

Bjork-Shiley valve.  A type of prosthetic heart valve.

BKWP.  Below-knee walking plaster. 

Blade plate.  A type of orthopedic fixation plate with a fixed angled extension at the end of the plate.  The extension is typically placed into the metaphysis of the bone undergoing fracture fixation.

BMP. Bone morphogenetic proteins.

BNL.  Breast needle localization.

Body packers.  See mules.

Bohlman technique.  A type of posterior cervical spine fixation that involves the use of interspinous wiring with bone grafting to stabilize the spine.

bone cement.  A biomaterial used to secure firm fixation of a joint prosthesis, such as hip and knee joint prostheses.  It is primarily made of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) powder and monomer methyl methacrylate liquid. 

bone graft. Bone fragments used to fill a bone defect caused by trauma, infection, or tumor. Cancellous, corticocancellous, or cortical bone grafts are used, either as free or vascularized grafts. They may be taken directly from the patient as an autograft, or cadaver bone (allograft) from a bone bank may be used.

Bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs). A group of proteins that have the ability to induce bone and cartilage formation. Some recombinant human bone morphogenic proteins (rhBMP-2 and rhBMP-7) are used in surgical orthopedic applications.

bone stimulator.  An electronic device for stimulating bone grow in cases of poor fracture healing and extensive spine surgery.  It consists of a battery pack and one or more leads with electrodes introduced into the fracture site or bone graft site to simulate healing.  In the spine this device may simulate the appearance of a spinal column stimulator, though the two are distinctly different devices with different uses. 

bone (graft) substitute. Artificial bone graft material used instead of an autograft or allograft bone graft. The main types of commercially available bone graft substitutes are demineralized allograft bone matrix, ceramics and ceramic composites, composite graft of collagen and mineral, coralline hydroxyapatite, calcium phosphate cement, bioactive glass, and calcium sulfate. See and

bore. Internal diameter of a gun barrel.

Boston Brace. Same as TLSO (thorocolumbar sacral orthosis) brace.

bovine graft (valve). A biologic body part derived from a cow. Bovine heart valves are sometimes used to replace diseased human heart valves.

Brachytherapy.  A type of radiation therapy in which the source of the ionizing radiation is applied directly to or is only a short distance away from the body area being treated.

BRH.  Bureau of Radiological Health.

bridge plate. A type of orthopedic fixation plate used mainly for diaphyseal fractures. The plate acts as an internal extramedullary splint fixed to intact proximal and distal fracture fragments. The fracture itself is left untouched and is bypassed by the plate.

Broviac catheter.  A type of central venous catheter. Broviac is a trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc. (Murray Hill, NJ).  Dr. J. W. Broviac and associates in 1973 described the use of a silicone rubber atrial catheter for parenteral alimentation. The term Broviac is used by some generically to refer to any indwelling central venous catheter.

BSM. Biopsy site marker.

Buck’s traction (extension).  A skin traction system in which a fractured leg is extended and held in traction by weights, with the bed raised at the foot to enable the body to act as a counterweight.

buckminsterfullerene (Bucky-ball). A spherical molecule of carbon with the formula C60. It has a structure similar to the geodesic domes designed by Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983).

Burch-Schneider (protrusio) cage. A metallic cage designed for implant revision surgery after total hip arthroplasty in which the cage is used to reconstruct osseous defects in the acetabulum. This cage is sometimes used in patients with metastatic tumor.

buttress plate.  An orthopedic fixation plate used for bony alignment rather than compression.  Typically, buttress plates are used in metaphyseal regions, such as the distal portion of the radius or the proximal portion of the tibia, whereas neutralization plates are used in the shafts of long bones.

butyl cyanoacrylate.  An embolic material used to treat arteriovenous malformations, vascular fistulas, and so forth.

Bx.   biopsy.


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CABG.  Coronary artery bypass graft procedure.

cage.  See vertebral cage.

calcar (femorale). Dense, vertically oriented bone in the posteromedial aspect of the femoral shaft above the lesser trochanter. It is often closely examined for resorption or erosion in patients with total hip arthroplasty (THA).

caliber. A term used to express bullet diameter in decimals of an inch or in millimeters.

cancellous bone screw.  A type of bone screw with a smooth shank proximally and coarse threads distally. It is designed to be inserted into cancellous bone. The threads should not cross a fracture line.

cannulated screw.  A type of orthopedic screw that has the same appearance as a standard screw except that the shank is hollow, a feature that allows it to be placed over a guide pin for more exact placement.

Cantor tube.  A type of intestinal drainage tube with a single channel and a weighted mercury bag.

CAPD.  Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.

carbon fiber (carbon-fiber; carbon fibers). A form of carbon in which the carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals aligned in long parallel fibers. The fibers can be bundled and woven into a fabric or combined with other materials to form a composite.

Carey capsule.  A device used for small bowel biopsy.

Carpentier-Edwards valve. A type of prosthetic heart valve.

Caspar plate.  The best known of the anterior cervical fixation plates.

cast gold crown.  Another term for a dental gold cap.

CBER. Center for Biologics and Evaluation Research. The Center within the FDA that regulates biological products for human use.

CBCT. Cone-beam computed tomography.

CCD.  Charge-coupled device, an electronic chip which is an image sensor. It is a major component of digital imaging devices found in professional and amateur photographic cameras, medical imaging, and scientific applications, such as astronomical cameras.  This term has also been used for “cardiac conduction device,” alternate terminology for cardiac pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators.

CCPD.  Continuous cyclic peritoneal dialysis.

CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDER. Center for Drug and Evaluation Research. The Center with the FDA that regulates over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including biologic therapeutics and generic drugs.

CDR. Cervical disk (disc) replacement.

CDRH. Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

CERT. Comparative effectiveness research training.

Celestin tube.  A nylon-reinforced latex tube used to bypass esophageal tumors.

cement. When used in terms of an orthopedic device or construct, cement usually refers to poly(methyl methacrylate), PMMA, an acrylic polymer used in a variety of prostheses usually as a bonding agent.

central venous catheter (CVC, CVP, Central Line).  A type of catheter used for access to the central venous system, usually the superior vena cava or the right atrium. The catheter may be introduced surgically or percutaneously, typically into the subclavian or jugular venous system, though more peripheral access routes may be used. Central venous catheters have one to three separate lumina and are used to measure central venous pressure, to withdraw blood samples, or to administer medications and hyperalimentation.  Drs. J. W. Broviac and R. O. Hickman and their associates independently described some of the first applications for such catheters, and their names are often used generically to refer to an indwelling central venous catheter.

ceramics.  Inorganic compounds that include silicates, metallic oxides, carbides, and various refractory hydrides, sulfides, and nitrides. Ceramics have extremely low coefficients of friction, making them ideal in certain settings for artificial joint surfaces.

cerclage wires.  Circumferential wires used to stabilize long bone fractures.  They are often used with intramedullary fixation and work in the same manner as barrel stays.

cerebrospinal fluid  shunt.  Any type of shunt used to treat hydrocephalus by draining fluid out of the ventricular system of the brain into the vascular system or into a body cavity.

cervical collar (neck brace). A type of brace for external immobilization of the cervical spine to safely transport a patient. It can also be worn by patients to help relieve acute or chronic neck pain

cervicothoracic brace.  Same as cervical collar.

CF. Carbon fiber (in the context of biomaterials). Cystic fibrosis (in the context of medical disease).

CF-PEEK. Carbon-fiber polyether ether ketone.

CFR. Code of Federal Regulations.

CFRP. Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, a strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic containing carbon fibers.

CFRTP. Carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic.

CFSAN. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The Center within the FDA that regulates domestically produced and imported foods.

CGMP. Current good manufacturing practices(s).

Charnley-Mueller hip.  Refers to one of the first successful hip prostheses. John Charnley (1911–1982), a British surgeon, is considered the father of joint replacement surgery.

chemical shift artifact. A type of magnetic resonance imaging artifact commonly seen at the interface of fat and soft tissue.

Chemotherapeutic infusion pump. A device for instilling chemotherapeutic agents into a body cavity, such as the peritoneum, or into vessels feeding an abdominal or pelvic malignancy. See also intrathecal (drug) delivery pump.

CHIPES.  Chloral hydrate, Heavy metals, Iodides,  Phenothiazines, Enteric-coated,  Solvents—a mnemonic for the classes of potentially  poisonous compounds that are Radiopaque on standard radiographs.

chronOS. A synthetic cancellous bone graft substitute product of DePuySynthes consisting of beta-tricalcium phosphate. It can be used alone or mixed autogenous bone.

CHW. Community health worker. See:Community Health Workers

CIED. Cardiac implantable electronic device.

Cimino-Brescia.  A type of distal radial artery– to– cephalic vein fistula surgically created  for reliable vascular access in patients  who need long-term hemodialysis.

CLABSI. Central line-associated bloodstream infection.

CLIA.  Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988.

CMS. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

closed wound suction drains. Drains that offer a constant level of suction, sometimes with a choice of suction pressures.

cloverleaf filter. A type of inferior vena cava filter.

cochlear implant.  A type of surgically implanted hearing aid used to treat sensorineural hearing loss.

CoCHR. Ceramic-on-ceramic hip resurfacing.

Co-Cr alloy.  Cobalt-chrome (also known as cobalt-chromium) alloy used as a metallic biomaterial.

Codman Hakim programmable valve.  A type of cerebrospinal fluid shunt used to treat hydrocephalus. It can be reset noninvasively to control a patient’s cerebrospinal fluid pressure by regulating the amount of fluid drainage.  The valve’s pressure settings are adjusted by an external programming device placed near the patient’s skull. There is a significant risk that an MR imaging study will reset the opening pressure of the valve; therefore, the valve settings should be reexamined after the patient undergoes MR imaging.

Coflex device (Paradigm Spine). A lumbar spine interlaminar stabilization device indicated for use in one or two level lumbar stenosis from L1-L5 in skeletally mature patients who experience relief in flexion from their symptoms.

comet-tail (ringdown) artifact. Ultrasound artifact that appears as a line of intense, nearly continuous echoes trailing behind a small reflector or behind the bands of a periodic reverberative artifact. Clinically, the comet tail is seen behind gas collections, areas of cholesterolosis, metallic clips, needles, and intrauterine devices. See Gimber, 2016 for a more complete discussion of comet-tail versus ring down artifact.

composite (or composite material). Material made from two or more constituent materials with different physical or chemical properties. Examples include cements, concrete, reinforced plastics, metals composites, and ceramic composites.

composite base acrylics. Biomaterials used in tooth-colored restorations and tooth veneers.

composite resin. Synthetic resin, often acrylic based, which has inert filler, such as glass or silica.

compression plate.  See dynamic compression plate.

compression screw.  Screws that are commonly used in the treatment of intertrochanteric and supracondylar femur fractures.

conformity. A term describing the degree of articular fit in a prosthetic joint. The greater the conformity, the larger the contact area between the joint components, and the less intrinsic stress within in the joint.

Coonrad-Morrey (total elbow prosthesis). A common semiconstrained elbow prosthesis for treatment of advanced elbow rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative osteoarthritis, or elbow reconstruction after severe trauma.

constraint. The resistance of an implant to a particular degree of motion, most often anterior-posterior translation or axial rotation. Implants are often described as being either constrained (resistant to motion in a given plane), semiconstrained or unconstrained (also called nonconstrained).

Copeland shoulder arthroplasty. A type of shoulder cementless surface replacement arthroplasty (CSRA) in which damaged shoulder joint bearing surfaces are replaced with minimal bone resection. The Copland prosthesis consists of a metal cup that fits over the resected area of the humeral head. The cup has a metal peg for cementless insertion into the proximal humeral shaft.

Cope loop catheter.  A type of catheter with a mechanism for holding the distal end of the catheter in a locked pigtail configuration to prevent accidental catheter removal.

Copper T, Copper-7, Copper T380A.  Types of intrauterine contraceptive devices.

Cordis sheath.  An access catheter manufactured by the Cordis Corporation (Miami Lakes, FL). It is basically a thin-walled vascular sheath through which various smaller catheters can be passed. It has come to represent generically any type of sheath that allows access to the central circulation.

corrosion. The dissolution/chemical reaction of a solid material in an aqueous environment. See corrosion and degradation of biomaterials.

cortical bone screw.  A type of fully threaded bone screw designed for use in cortical bone. It uses fine threads to anchor the screw on the near and far cortex of the bone.

Cotrel-Dubousset system.  A complex orthopedic system of rods, hooks, cross-links, and screws for the posterior fixation of the spine.

COVERNOX. An antioxidant product of DePuy Synthes which is placed in ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).

CPI. Critical Path Initiative of the FDA.

CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

CPS. Cervical (spine) pedicle screw.

CPT.  American Medical Association’s Physicians’ Current Procedural Terminology, which is published periodically.

CR.  Computed (or computerized) radiography.

crankshaft phenomenon (spine). Spinal deformity resulting in patients usually of age 10 or less with growth potential left in the spine. When a childhood or adolescent scoliotic spine is surgically fused posteriorly, but the anterior portion of the spine continues to grow, there may be progression of the spinal curvature and rotation of the curvature.

CRBS. Catheter related bloodstream infection.

crown (dental crown). A specialized cap placed completely over a tooth to cover the tooth, restore its function, and improve its appearance.

CRP. Carbon reinforced plastic.

CRPP.  Closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of a fracture.

Crutchfield tongs.  Hinged metal tongs with pointed tips designed to engage the parietal bone of the skull. They are used for cervical traction to treat cervical spine fractures or to stabilize the cervical spine for surgery.

CSGIT.  Continuous-suture graft-inclusion technique for repair of aortic aneurysms  and dissections.

CSRA. (Shoulder) cementless surface replacement arthroplasty.

CTLSO. Cervico-thoraco-lumbar sacral orthosis brace. Also known as a Milwaukee brace.

CTP. Center for Tobacco Products. The FDA Center that oversees the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Cu-7 IUD.  A type of intrauterine contraceptive device.

CVAC.  Central venous access catheter. CVC.  See central venous catheter.

CVM. Center for Veterinary Medicine. The FDA Center that regulates animal drugs for companion (pet) animals and food producing animals.

CVP.  Central venous pressure or central venous catheter.


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Tim Hunter

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