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AB as in ABNORMAL ABDOMEN - A as in AGENESIS - ADDUCT ABDUCT VAGUS VARUS (in Brief)

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In medical parlance, the prefix A, AB incorporated into the terms ABDUCT, ADDUCT and into the companio terms VALGUS, VARUS can be confusing. One way to clarify the meanings is to keep in mind two reference points; the midline of the body (not of paired sturctures) and the "end point" marking the position of the body part to determine if a deviation is "inward" or "away". A schema of bowed legs" and "knock knees" relying on a pair of parentheses follows:  () and )(. The "end points are the feet" deviated inward in the first case (VARUM) and outward (VALGUM). By combining GENU for knee with these terms we get GENU VARUM for "bowed legs" and GENU VALGUS for "knock knees". A bunion is a deformity causing the distal end of the great toe to point "away" from the midline of the body. Hallux (great toe) combined with "away" or "valgus" when combined into Hallux valgus represent the medical term for "bunion". In the companion illustrated overview are desribed nuances that may help remember the ideas inherent it these terms. 

20120728 ww  M.D.

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