CLAVULANIC ACID
Most fractures of the clavicle occur as a
result of a fall on to the shoulder or on
to an outstretched arm. W hen the clavi-
cle
is
broken,
the
arm
must
be
supported in a sling and a figure-of-
eight bandage must be used to keep the
fractured bone ends together. Healing
takes about three weeks.
clavulanic acid
A substance that is combined with the
penicillin drug
amoxicillin
to produce
the antibiotic drug
co-amoxiclav.
claw-foot
A deformity of the foot in w hich the
arch of the foot is exaggerated and the
tips of the toes turn under. Claw-foot
may be present from birth, or it may
result from damage or disruption to
the nerve or blood supply to the mus-
cles of the foot. Surgery may improve
the condition.
claw-hand
A deformity in w hich the fingers are
permanently curled. It is
caused by
injury to the
ulnar nerve
,
w hich controls
the muscles of the thumb and fingers.
Treatment includes repairing the nerve
by using splints to hold the fingers
straight, or cutting a tendon in the
wrist to allow the fingers to straighten.
claw-toe
A
deformity
of unknown
cause
in
w hich the end of one or more affected
toes bends downwards so that the toe
curls under. A painful
corn
may form on
the tip of the toe or on the top of the
bent joint. Protective pads can relieve
pressure from footwear. In severe cases,
surgery may be required.
clear liquid diet
A diet consisting solely of clear or
strained fluids, such as broth, ginger
ale, or fruit juices. A clear liquid diet
provides little nourishment. It is mainly
used for very short periods, such as
during the first
24
hours following
surgery or in the initial stages of an
episode of diarrhoea and vomiting.
cleft lip and palate
A split in the upper lip and/or palate
that is present at birth. Cleft lip is a ver-
tical,
usually
off-centre
split in the
upper lip; it may be a small notch, or
may extend to the nose. The gum may
also be cleft, and the nose may be
crooked. The term “harelip” refers only
to a m idline cleft lip, w hich is rare.
Cleft palate is a gap that may extend
from the back of the palate to behind
the teeth and be open to the nasal cavi-
ty. The condition is often accompanied
by other problems such as partial deaf-
ness and possibly other
birth defects.
TREATMENT
Surgery to repair a cleft lip may be
undertaken in the first few days after
birth or when the baby is about three
months of age. Surgery improves the
child’s appearance; after repair, speech
defects are rare. A cleft palate is usually
repaired at about 1 2 months, but fur-
ther surgery,
orthodontic
treatment, and
speech therapy
may be required.
cleidocranial dysplasia
Also called cleidocranial dysostosis, a
rare, autosomal dominant
genetic disor-
der
causing malformation of the bones,
particularly
those
in
the
skull
and
shoulders. An affected person typically
has absent or underdeveloped
clavicles
(collarbones), and can move the shoul-
ders
forwards
so
that
they
almost
touch. The sutures (fixed joints) of the
skull
bones take longer than normal to
fuse together. There may also be abnor-
malities in the structure of the pelvis,
fingers, teeth, and
vertebrae
(bones of
the spinal column).
clemastine
An
antihistamine drug
that is used to
relieve the symptoms of allergic condi-
tions such as
urticaria
(nettle rash) and
allergic
rhinitis
(hay fever). Clemastine
can cause drowsiness so driving and
hazardous work should be avoided.
clergyman’s knee
Inflammation of the
bursa
(the fluid-
filled sac) that cushions the pressure
point above the tibial tubercle
(the
bony prominence just below the knee).
The condition is caused by prolonged
kneeling. (See also
bursitis
. )
climacteric
See
menopause.
clindamycin
An
antibiotic drug
that may be pre-
scribed as a skin preparation to treat
severe
acne
or in creams to treat bac-
terial vaginal infections. Sometimes, it
is also given as tablets or by injection.
Clindamycin can have serious side
effects. In particular, it may cause a
potentially
life-threatening
form
of
bowel inflammation called antibiotic-
associated colitis. For this reason, the
drug is prescribed only when other
types of antibiotic cannot be used.
clinic
A hospital department or health-care
institution for the treatment of particu-
lar diseases (such as conditions that are
specific to women or to men, or sexu-
ally transmitted infections).
clinical diagnosis
A procedure in w hich a doctor deter-
mines the nature of a disorder on the
basis of an individual’s description of
his or her symptoms and a physical
examination. Unlike
pathological diagno-
sis
,
a clinical diagnosis does not depend
on the analysis
of tissue specimens
taken from the body.
clinical pharmacology
The branch of
pharmacology
(the sci-
ence concerned with the nature and
action of drugs) that deals with the use
of drugs in patients, in hospitals and in
the community. Clinical pharmacolo-
gists are concerned with drug doses;
when and when not to give specific
drugs
(indications and contraindica-
tions); administration; and side effects.
clinical psychology
The branch of
psychology
(the scientific
study of mental processes) concerned
with the diagnosis and treatment of
emotional and behavioural problems.
178
previous page 177 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online next page 179 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online Home Toggle text on/off