Medical Terminology: Muscular Roots and Suffixes - dummies

Medical Terminology: Muscular Roots and Suffixes

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

Let’s put your medical terminology expertise into practice by breaking down muscular root words into meanings and useful applications. The roots are essential medical terminology knowledge, because once you master these roots (good ol’ Greek and Latin ones, that is), you can break down any muscular-related word and discover its meaning.

Don’t confuse myo (muscle) with myelo (bone marrow).

Here are some muscular root words you need to know.

Root Word What It Means
Duct/o To draw
Fasci/o Fascia (band of tissue surrounding muscle)
Fibr/o Fibers
Flex/o Bend
Leiomy/o Smooth visceral muscle
My/o Muscle
Myocardi/o Heart muscle
Myos/o Muscle
Pronati/o Facing down or backward
Rhabdomy/o Skeletal or striated muscle
Sarc/o Soft, fleshy, or connective tissue
Supinati/o Facing up or forward
Tens/o Stretch

Check out these muscular suffixes you need to know.

Suffix What It Means
-algia Pain in fibrous tissue
-desis Surgical fixation
-dynia Pain
-ectomy Surgical removal or excision
-gram Record
-graph Instrument used to record
-graphy The process of recording
-itis Inflammation
-ology Study of, process of study
-oma Tumor or mass
-otomy To cut into
-pathy Disease
-plasty Surgical reconstruction, or shaping of
-rrhaphy Suture repair