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Paget's Jargon Buster C - D

C

Calcitonin: A naturally occurring hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. Calcitonin is involved in helping regulate levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood. When used as a treatment, calcitonin can sometimes help relieve pain associated with Paget’s disease (available in an injection or nasal spray).

Calcium: A mineral found in many foods. Calcium is used by the body to help strengthen bones and teeth.

Candle flame sign: Also known as the ‘blade of grass sign’. This refers to how Paget’s may appear on an x-ray, in a long bone such as the thigh bone (femur).

Cartilage: A connective tissue that acts as a shock-absorber between bones.

Cervical spine: The neck area of the spine.

Cholecalciferol: Also known as vitamin D3, this is a type of vitamin D that is made by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is also found in some foods and can be taken as a dietary supplement.

Chronic: A condition that persists for a long time.

Clavicle: The collar bone.

Clinical research: Research that typically involves patients and volunteers.

Closed fracture: A break in a bone where the skin remains unbroken.

Comminuted fracture: A bone is broken into several pieces.

Comorbidity: More than one disease or condition is present in the same person at the same time. Conditions described as comorbidities are often long-term conditions.

Consultant: The most senior grade of hospital doctor.

Contraindication: A situation where a particular treatment should not be used.

Cotton wool appearance: The disorganised bone of Paget’s disease can appear as ‘cotton wool’ on an x-ray. Also referred to as the ‘jigsaw pattern’ or ‘mosaic pattern’.

CT (or CAT) scan: Computed (Axial) Tomography. A diagnostic imaging technique that creates detailed pictures of the inside of your body. It takes pictures from different angles and puts them together to make a 3-dimensional image.

D

Deficiency:  Lack of something.

DEXA scan: Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. Also known as a bone densitometry scan, it uses low dose x-rays to take measurements to work out the strength (density) of your bones. If your bone density is lower than normal for your age, it indicates a risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. It is not a test used to diagnose Paget’s disease.

Diaphysis: The shaft of a 'long bone' such as the thighbone.

Displaced fracture: A break in a bone where the parts of the bone no longer line up correctly.

Distal: When used to describe the skeleton, distal means a position that is the furthest from the body. For example, the femur (thighbone) is attached to the body at the hip and so the distal part of the femur is the part of the bone furthest from the hip, which is the part nearest to the knee joint.

DNA: Did Not Attend – as in missed an appointment.

DNA: In genetics DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, which makes up our genes.

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