Essential knee terminology
Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.
Sagittal plane search for term

If there was a very thin gap between two glass doors, and you turned sideways, holding out your arms out to the side up to shoulder height, to slip through the gap, then the glass doors would be considered to be in the sagittal plane in relation to your body.

Salvage search for term

Salvage procedures attempt to make the best of what is already a very bad situation.

Saphenous nerve search for term

A nerve branching off from the larger femoral nerve, and which transmits sensation in the side of the leg. An important branch of the saphenous nerve relating to the knee is the infrapatellar branch which transmits sensation at the side of the patella, and which is quite often damaged during surgery.

Schatzker classification search for term

A system for the classification of tibial plateau fractures. I - VI

Schenck Classification search for term

A classification of degrees of knee dislocation based on the number of ligaments damaged, and the presence of associated fractures.

Second look arthroscopy search for term

A 'second look' arthroscopy is when a patient is pro-actively booked to have an arthroscopy just to check up on a previous surgical procedure.

Semi-lunar cartilage search for term

A semi-lunar cartilage is the old-fashioned name for a meniscus. 'Semi-lunar' means 'half-moon' and refers to the shape of the meniscus.

Semitendinosus search for term

The semitendinosus muscle is one of the hamstrings muscles.

Semitendinosus tenodesis search for term

One of several surgical procedures to re-align the patella.

Sherman Classification search for term

A classification based upon the site of an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear.

Shin bone search for term

The larger bone of the lower leg.

Short arc extensions search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Side-stepping search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Sign search for term

Something that you can see which gives an idea about diagnosis of a medical problem.

Single-bundle ACL graft search for term

Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament using a 'single-bundle' graft.

Single-photon-emission computed tomography search for term

Single-photon-emission computed tomography is a radioactive imaging technique to give information about blood flow in the body.

Small-incision knee replacement search for term

A small-incision knee replacement is a knee replacement performed with a smaller incision than traditionally, and using special techniques and instruments.

Snapping search for term

A sharp noisy snap of structures usually at the outer side or back of the knee.

SPECT search for term

Abbreviation of 'single-photon-emission computed tomography'.

Sports therapist search for term

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness.

SPP search for term

Abbreviation of 'suprapatellar plica'.

Squats search for term

With your arms out in front of you, bending as if you are going to sit, but then straightening up again.

Squinting patellae search for term

When the two kneecaps face towards each other when the patient stands comfortably facing forwards.

Standing wall slides search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Static bike search for term

Useful equipment item for knee rehabilitation.

Static quads search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Stem cell search for term

A stem cell is an unspecialised cell with a remarkable ability to divide over and over and become differentiated into another type of cell, replacing damaged body tissue.

Stem cell line search for term

A culture of stem cells all derived from the same original cell source, which has been allowed to multiply.

Stem cells search for term

A stem cell is an unspecialised cell with a remarkable ability to divide over and over and become differentiated into another type of cell, replacing damaged body tissue.

Step ups search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Steroids search for term

In relation to the knee, there are two main groups of steroid - corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are used to suppress inflammation. Anabolic steroids are different, and are used by athletes to build up muscle bulk.

Straight leg raises search for term

A knee rehabilitation exercise.

Stutter test search for term

A test for the presence of a medial synovial plica.

Subchondral search for term

An adjective referring to the layer of bone immediately under the articular cartilage.

Subchondral drilling search for term

A surgical procedure where small holes are drilled through damaged joint cartilage into the bone marrow of the underlying bone..

Subcutaneous search for term

Subcutaneous means 'under the skin'.

Subluxation search for term

Subluxation is when the bones of a joint nearly leave their normal alignment, but then return to a normal position.

Sudek's atrophy search for term

Tissue wasting secondary to complex regional pain syndrome.

Sulcus angle search for term

This is a measurement of the steepness of the walls of the groove in which the kneecap rides (the trochlear groove).

Superficial peroneal nerve search for term

The superficial branch of the common peroneal nerve.

Superior search for term

Superior is a positional word, meaning 'above'.

Suprapatellar search for term

A positional word meaning 'above the patella' (kneecap).

Suprapatellar bursa search for term

An extension of the joint cavity above the kneecap.

Suprapatellar plica search for term

A suprapatellar plica is a membrane remnant stretching across the joint cavity above the kneecap.

Suprapatellar pouch search for term

The suprapatellar pouch is the extension of the knee joint cavity above the patella. Sometimes the two are separated by a membrane.

Sympathetic nervous system search for term

The nerve system that controls things like heart rate and blood pressure.

Symptom search for term

A symptom is a discomforture felt by the patient - for example pain, giving way, catching.

Syndrome search for term

Signs and symptoms often found in association with one another.

Synovectomy search for term

A surgical procedure to remove excessive joint lining (synovium).

Synovial fluid search for term

The fluid washing the inside of the joint, secreted by the synovium - the cells of the joint lining.

Synovial joint search for term

Synovial joints are movable joints that contain a lubricating fluid called synovial fluid and have articular cartilage to keep the ends of the moving bones separate from each other.

Synovial membrane search for term

Thin cell lining around the inside of lubricated joints.

Synovial plica search for term

A membrane formed by the joint lining or synovium.

Synovitis search for term

Inflammation of the joint lining (synovium).

Synovium search for term

The lining of the joint.

Synthetic search for term

'Synthetic' means 'artificial'.

Synthetic graft search for term

A graft using artificial materials, eg Gore-Tex.

Systemic search for term

Affecting the whole body.