Medical Terminology

We live in a world of near-instantaneous communications, with information immediately and freely available, about just about everything and anything. Such information technology (IT) has not only spawned its own plethora of acronyms and abbreviations but has exposed us all to the jargon and terminology used by other specialist occupations, including management, finance and commerce. Whilst making verbal communication between experts more efficient, shortened forms of language do not help outsiders understand about a subject. Medicine, of course, is no exception and, indeed, might be accused of being as one of the oldest professions to hide behind obscure names and terminology. Many medical words have derived from Latin or Greek, although modern medicine is as guilty as other fields of generating acronyms and abbreviations in profusion. This section of the website is an attempt to overcome some of these communication barriers, in so far as the lay reader gaining a better understanding of syringomyelia and Chiari. In particular, we are trying to help patients better understand what their medical advisors are saying to them, when discussing these subjects.