KNEECAP
KYPHOSIS
KNEE
Quadriceps
Synovial fluid
in bursa
Synovial
membrane
Cruciate
ligaments
External
ligaments
Femur
Knee injuries are common. They include
ligament sprains, torn meniscus,
disloca-
tion
of the patella, and
fracture
of any of
the bones in the joint.
Chondromalacia
patellae
is common in adolescents.
kneecap
See
patella.
knee-joint replacement
Surgery to re-
place a diseased
knee
joint with an
artificial substitute, usually a metal or
plastic implant. Knee-joint replacement
is most commonly carried out in older
people whose knees are severely affected
by
osteoarthritis
or
rheumatoid arthritis.
knock-knee
Inward curving of the legs
so that the knees touch, causing the
feet to be kept further apart. Knock-
knee is common in toddlers and may be
part of normal development. In adults
or children, it may be caused by a dis-
ease such as
rickets
that softens the
bones;
osteoarthritis
or
rheumatoid arth-
ritis
of the knee; or a leg
fracture
that
has not healed correctly. In children, the
condition usually disappears by age
10
.
Knock-knee that persists, or is caused
by a disorder, may require
osteotomy,
in which the
tibia
(shin) is cut and re-
aligned to straighten the leg. In adults,
knee-joint replacement
may be needed.
knuckle
The name for a
finger
joint.
koilonychia
A condition in which the
nails
are dry, brittle, and thin, eventually
becoming spoon-shaped. It may be
caused by injury to the nail, and may
also be associated with iron-deficiency
anaemia
or
lichen planus.
Koplik's spots
Tiny, grey-white spots
that appear in the mouth during the
incubation period of
measles.
Korsakoff's psychosis
See
Wernicke-
Korsakoff syndrome.
kraurosis vulvae
See
vulvitis.
kuru
A rare, fatal infection of the brain
that affects some inhabitants of New
Guinea. The disease is caused by a “slow”
virus or
prion
, which has a long incuba-
tion period and is spread by cannibalism.
Symptoms include progressive difficulty
in controlling movements and
dementia.
The study of kuru led to the identifica-
tion of prions, which also play a role in
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
and
BSE
.
kwashiorkor
A severe form of
malnutri-
tion
in young
children that occurs
principally in poor rural areas in the
tropics. Affected children have stunted
growth and a puffy appearance due to
oedema
. The liver often enlarges,
dehy-
dration
may develop, and the child
loses resistance to infection, which may
have fatal consequences. The more
advanced stages are marked by
jaundice
,
drowsiness, and a fall in body tempera-
ture. Initially, the child is frequently fed
with small amounts of milk, and vita-
min and mineral tablets. A nutritious
diet is then gradually introduced. Most
treated children recover, but those less
than
2
years old may suffer from perma-
nently stunted growth.
kyphoscoliosis
A combination of
kyph-
osis
and
scoliosis
.
kyphosis
Excessive outward curvature of
the
spine
.
Kyphosis usually affects the
spine at the top of the back, resulting in
a hump or pronounced rounding of the
back. The condition may be caused by
any of a variety of
spine disorders.
In
some cases, a
congenital
abnormality
may be the cause. Treatment, which is
rarely successful, is of the underlying
disorder. When combined with a curva-
ture of the spine to one side (
scoliosis
),
the condition is known as kyphoscoliosis.
K
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