I had to take a medical terminology class in college to get my Physical Therapy degree. I quickly found out that it was definitely a necessity. We learned that ‘o’ is often added to connect a (prefix) body part with a (suffix) problem or procedure like in arthr’o’scopy. We learned what all those suffixes mean. We learned abbreviations (Since, you know, medical providers are notoriously known for bad hand writing. And, besides, we’d rather be treating our patients than documenting!). We learned some basic suffixes for drug names so we could identify what category they are in. And a bunch more lingo and jargon stuff that I’ll likely only remember if I come across it.
I found some articles on the internet that will say that 9/10 people are not health term literate. That medical terminology comprehension is low – even among educated individuals. I had to keep this in mind as I was putting together my website so that no one would feel intimidated, or misinterpret information. Misdiagnosing can be scary and even dangerous.
If someone comes to me with ‘flat feet’, I might slip and use the term ‘fallen arches’, but to tell them they have ‘pes planus’ would just get me blank stares. Or the person that is ‘knock kneed’… I find that most people don’t want to know that it’s actually called genu recurvatum. Lol.
There are 2 terms that are so commonly misspoken or misspelled that it makes me smile every time I hear a variation of it. So I’ve put together a little quiz for you here just for fun.
Here’s the quiz:
When talking about your shoulder and the small muscles that are most commonly the culprit of an injury, are they the:
A. Rotor Cup
B. Rotator Cuff
C. Rockstar Calf
What is the correct spelling of a very commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory that is notorious for upsetting your stomach if you take it too much?
Don’t worry. You won’t be graded on these. It’s just a little eye opener that even people that are highly educated might never have run across a medical terminology course. Between the abbreviations and the Greek and Latin words roots – it’s almost like a whole new language! However I am thankful for this because it was very helpful as I was learning to speak Spanish. We have the muscles and musculos. We have ligaments and ligamentos. We have tendons and tendones. At least that part was easy!
I personally turn to the internet for any of my health related questions and I feel that I can get a good grasp on what’s true and what isn’t because I can identify what makes sense based on what I already know with my medical background. But it can be intimidating to just hit ‘search’ and hope you’re getting an article that you can understand and that is accurate.
It is my hope that you find all the content on INSIGHT INTO INJURY understandable and very helpful!
And, as always, if you have any questions you can reach out to me and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Oh – and “Post Scriptum” – the answer to both questions above is “B”!