Word Parts and Structural Terms

Combining Forms

ankyl/o: stiff, bent

aponeur/o: aponeurosis

arthr/o: joint

burs/o: bursa

carp/o: carpals, wrist

chondr/o: cartilage

clavic/o: clavicle, collarbone

clavicul/o: clavicle, collarbone

cost/o: ribs

crani/o: cranium

disk/o: intervertebral disk

femor/o: femur, upper leg bone

fibul/o: fibula, lower leg bone

humer/o: humerus, upper arm bone

ili/o: ilium

ischi/o: ischium

kinesi/o: movement, motion

kyph/o: increased convexity of the spine

lord/o: bent forward, increased concavity of the spine

lumb/o: loin, lumbar region of the spine

mandibul/o: mandible, lower jawbone

maxill/o: maxilla, upper jawbone

menisc/o: meniscus, crescent

myel/o: spinal cord

oste/o: bone

patell/o: patella, kneecap

pelv/i: pelvis, pelvic bone

pelv/o: pelvis, pelvic bone

petr/o: stone

phalang/o: phalanges, bones of finger and toes

pub/o: pubis

rachi/o: vertebral spine, vertebral column

radi/o: nerve root

scapul/o: scapula, shoulder blade

scoli/o: crooked, curved

spondyl/o: vertebra, spine, vertebral column

stern/o: sternum, breastbone

tars/o: tarsals, ankle bones

ten/o: tendon

tendin/o: tendon

tend/o: tendon

tibi/o: tibia, lower leg bone

uln/o: ulna, lower arm bone

vertebr/o: vertebra, spine, vertebral column



a-: absence of, without

ab-: away from

ad-: toward

brady-: slow

dys-: painful, difficult, abnormal, labored

hyper-: above, excessive

inter-: between

intra-: within, in

poly-: many, much

sub-: below, under

supra-: above

sym-: together, joined

syn-: together, joined



-al: pertaining to

-algia: pain

-ar: pertaining to

-asthenia: weakness

-centesis: surgical puncture to aspirate fluid

-clasia: break

-clasis: break

-clast: break

-desis: surgical fixation, fusion

-ectomy: excision, surgical removal, cutting out

-gram: the record, radiographic image

-graphy: process of recording, radiographic imaging

-ic: pertaining to

-itis: inflammation

-lysis: loosening, separating, dissolution

-malacia: softening

-oid: resembling

-oma: tumor

-osis: abnormal condition

-penia: abnormal reduction

-physis: growth

-plasty: surgical repair

-rrhaphy: suturing, repairing

-sarcoma: malignant tumor

-schisis: split, fissure

-scopy: process of viewing, visual examination

-tomy: incision, cut into

-trophy: nourishment, development

Structural Terms Built from Word Parts

skull: bones of head, made up of cranium and facial bones

maxilla: upper jaw

mandible: lower jaw

vertebral column: made up of bones called vertebrae (pl.) or vertebra (s.) through which the spinal cord runs. The vertebral column protects the spinal cord, supports the head, and provides points of attachment for ribs and muscles.

clavicle: collarbone

scapula: shoulder blade

acromion process: extension of the scapula, which forms the superior point of the shoulder

sternum: breastbone

xiphoid process: lowest portion of sternum

ribs: 12 sets contained in the thoracic cage that protect the heart and lungs

humerus: bone in upper arm

radius: bone that runs thumb-side of the forearm

ulna: bone that runs on the side of the little finger of the forearm

carpals: wrist bones

metacarpals: bones in the palm of hand

phalanges: finger and toe bones

illium: largest part of the hip bone; upper, wing-shaped part on each side of the pelvis

ischium: lower, posterior portion of the pelvis on which one sits

pubis: anterior portion of pelvis

pelvis: made up of three bones fused together (also called pelvic bones and hip bones)

acetabulum: large socket in the pelvic bones that holds the head of the femur

femur: thigh bone, also referred to as the upper leg bone; the longest and strongest bone in the human body

patella: kneecap

tibia: medial bone and main weight-bearing bone of the lower leg

fibula: lateral, smaller of the lower leg bone

metatarsals: foot bones

tarsals: ankle bones

calcaneus: heel bone of foot


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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