Ganglion Cysts, Epicondylitis & Ankle & Foot Problem Terms Video

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  • 0:00 Misnomers
  • 0:31 Epicondylitis
  • 1:58 Heel Spur & Plantar Fasciitis
  • 3:34 Ganglion Cyst
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson is going to cover several misleading terms. They are ganglion cyst, lateral and medial epicondylitis, plantar fasciitis, and heel spur. You'll learn why some of these terms, or their layman equivalents, are incorrect.


Hey, how about we name some stuff that sounds like one thing but isn't that at all? Like instead of calling it a tennis racket, we'll call it a tennis paddle. Instead of a golf club, we'll call it a running club. Confused about what I mean?

Most of the terms we go over in this lesson will make it clear that, in medicine, we sometimes have misnomers for both technical and common terms for potential problems. This lesson is going to define ganglion cysts and epicondylitis, as well as a couple of terms related to ankle and foot problems.


I used golf and tennis in my intro for another reason besides relaying confusing terminology. If you play tennis or golf, you might have tennis elbow or golfer's elbow. Did you know there are two technical terms for this?

Tennis elbow is called lateral epicondylitis, where epicondylitis implies the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the elbow. It comes from 'epi-,' meaning 'on,' 'over,' or 'around;' '-condyle-,' which means 'a rounded projection on a bone;' and '-itis,' which means 'inflammation.' The epicondyle is a protuberance on either side of your elbow. The lateral epicondyle is the one on the outside of the elbow.

All of this is actually a double misnomer. Firstly, tennis elbow is more common in non-tennis players. Second, the medical term itself is deceiving. It implies an inflammatory process when, in fact, the problem lies in the degeneration and microscopic disarray of the tissues surrounding the elbow, not inflammation.

While tennis elbow refers to lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis is the technical term for golfer's elbow. The word 'medial' implies the 'inner side of the elbow,' so the area around the inner epicondyle is affected. That being said, medial epicondylitis can occur in people who play tennis, as well as bowlers, weight lifters, and archers, just to name a few. It doesn't have to occur only in a golfer.

Heel Spur & Plantar Fasciitis

Let's move on to another word, which seems like a misnomer from the outside but isn't really in the medical lingo. It's called a heel spur. Sounds like there would be an actual metal cowboy spur, or something developing on the outside of your heel, doesn't it? Of course, that doesn't happen!

A heel spur is a bony thickening or outgrowth of the plantar surface of the calcaneus. In medicine, we refer to a small projection or projecting body from any structure as a spur. The term is commonly used with bones, like the calcaneus, the heel bone, where the thick outgrowth occurs on the plantar surface, the sole of the foot. You can remember that 'plantar' means the 'sole of the foot' because when you walk, you 'plant' your feet!

A heel spur may cause something known as jogger's heel, aka plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia. 'Fasci-' stands for 'fascia,' which is connective tissue that covers, separates, supports, or binds muscles and various organs and tissues, or their layers, and the suffix '-itis' means 'inflammation.'

This condition is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and it stems from the inflammation of the fascia that runs from the heel bone to the toes. Again, as with other terms, it's a misnomer in layman's terms because anyone can get this condition, even those who stand for long periods of time, not just joggers.

Ganglion Cyst

And for the last misnomer of our lesson, let's turn to a ganglion cyst. A ganglion cyst is a noncancerous collection of fluid or semifluid that commonly develops adjacent to the tendons or joints of the wrist or hands, as well as the ankles and feet.

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