Key: L- Latin, G – Greek
Prefix/Suffix Derivation/Meaning Example
Hyper- G, above, over hypertrophy – enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or body part due to the increased size of the constituent cells. Hypertrophy occurs in the biceps and the heart because of increased work. This term is also applied to the uterus during pregnancy. (My silly hints: If ladies save money and have fewer shopping trips, their bank accounts can ‘hypertrophy’ or enlarge! Trophies are usually large.) Another example, which is commonly heard is hypertension. Abbreviated HTN, this refers to elevated blood pressure. We will have a detailed lecture about what high blood pressure actually means.
Hypo- G, under, less hypotension – low blood pressure.
Infra- L, also means below infraspinous (You should remember from the last lecture. This is already in your master computer, which is your brain. You just have to remember ‘where you stored this file’!) No matter where you encounter infra-, it means below. In construction and politics, you hear about building infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. These underpinnings are the foundation on which we move about and do our daily activities. You will never forget the prefix infra-.
infraspinous fossa – Just like in math, break it down to the lowest terms if you are puzzled on an exam. Could this be a depression or low point on or near the spine? That is the crude definition using your mastery of Latin and Greek. The infraspinous fossa is the large, slightly concave area below the spinous process on the dorsal surface of the scapula. We know based on breaking down the parts of the word, that the infraspinous fossa is not on the head or the foot!
Inter- L, between intertubercular sulcus or intertubercular groove- The tubercles of the humerus are separated by a deep groove. (Tubercles are round nodules, small eminences, or warty outgrowths.) This groove is also called the bicipital groove or sulcus intertubercular.) This sulcus lodges the long tendon of the biceps brachii and transmits a branch of the anterior humeral circumflex artery. It runs downward in an oblique fashion, and ends near the junction of the upper with the middle third of the bone.
Let’s get back to the anterior humeral circumflex artery. You know I love to have fun with words! Even if you never heard this term in your life, you should be able to break this word down and ‘ace’ any medical terminology test. Anterior means towards the front; humeral refers to the humerus, or the upper arm bone; circumflex means to wrap around or encircle; and an artery carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart. I hope you had as much fun as I did, but more importantly, I hope you ‘downloaded’ that information from your elite computer, your brain.