FOOT-DROP
F
foot-drop
A condition in w hich the foot cannot
be
raised properly and hangs limp
from the ankle, causing it to catch on
the ground when the affected person
is walking along.
Neuritis
(inflammation of a nerve)
affecting the nerves that supply the
foot muscles is a common cause. This
condition may be due to
diabetes melli-
tus
,
multiple sclerosis
,
or a
neuropathy
(nerve disease). Weakness in the foot
muscles can also result from pressure
on a nerve at the point where it leaves
the spinal cord, due to a
disc prolapse
or a
tumour
.
Damage to the muscles in
the leg from an injury may also be a
cause of foot-drop.
The underlying cause is treated, but
in many people the weakness persists.
A lightweight plastic
caliper splint
may
be used to keep the foot in place when
the person is walking.
foramen
A natural opening in a bone or other
body structure, usually to allow the
passage of nerves or blood vessels. For
example, the foramen magnum is a
hole in the base of the skull through
w hich the
spinal cord
passes.
Forbes-Albright syndrome
A condition that is characterized by
amenorrhoea
(the absence of menstrua-
tion) and
galactorrhoea
(the production
of breast m ilk) that is not associated
w ith pregnancy. Forbes-Albright syn-
drome is usually the result of a
pituitary
tumour
that secretes excessive amounts
of the hormone
prolactin
.
Treatment
w ith the drug
bromocriptine
may sup-
press prolactin production. However,
surgical removal of the tumour may be
necessary.
forced expiratory volume
The maximum volume of air that can,
over a given period of time, be forcibly
exhaled from the lungs, usually over
one second. Forced expiratory volume
(FEV) tests are often carried out in
conjunction w ith
forced vital capacity
(FVC) tests to check for a variety of
lung
disorders.
(See
also
pulmonary
function tests
.)
A low result may indicate one of a
variety of disorders, including chronic
obstructive
pulmonary
disease
(see
pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive
)
and dim inished lung volume, such as
that found in
emphysema
.
forced vital capacity
The largest volume of air that can be
expired following a deep inhalation.
Forced vital capacity (FVC) is one of
the variables measured in a lung func-
tion test (see
pulmonary function tests),
w hich is carried out to check for a
variety of lung disorders.
forceps
A tweezerlike instrument that is used
for handling tissues or equipment dur-
ing surgical procedures. Various types
of forceps have been designed for spe-
cific purposes. For example, forceps
that are used for holding and removing
wound dressings have scissor handles
to make manipulation easier;
tissue
forceps have fine teeth at the tip of
each blade so that body tissues can be
handled delicately during surgery. (See
also
forceps delivery
. )
forceps delivery
The use of specially designed forceps
(see
forceps, obstetric
) to ease out the
baby’s head during a difficult birth
(see
childbirth
) .
WHY IT IS DONE
Forceps delivery is used if the mother
is overtired or unable to push out her
baby unaided, or if the baby is show-
ing signs of
fetal distress
.
Forceps are
also used to control the baby’s head
once the body has been delivered in
breech delivery
to
prevent an
overly
rapid birth. They may also be used if
the baby’s head is stuck in the middle
of the mother’s pelvis and needs to be
rotated to make delivery possible.
HOW IT IS DONE
The mother is given a painkiller and
either local or epidural
anaesthesia
.
She
lies on her back, with her legs raised
in stirrups. Forceps can be applied only
if the cervix (neck of the uterus) is
fully dilated and the baby’s head is
engaged in the pelvis. An
episiotomy
(making a cut in the perineum) is usu-
ally needed for a forceps delivery. The
forceps blades are placed on either side
of the baby’s head, just in front of the
ears, and gentle traction is applied to
bring about delivery of the baby.
Recovery and care for mother and
child is usually the same as after a
vaginal delivery.
forceps, obstetric
Surgical instruments that are used in
forceps delivery
to deliver the head of a
baby in a difficult labour and birth.
OBSTETRIC FORCEPS
The two wide, blunt blades are
designed to fit around the baby’s
head. The handles are inserted
separately and lock together so that
the blades are held apart.
There are several different
sizes and shapes,
depending on the
position of
the baby.
FORCEPS
The forceps blades lie along the sides ofthe
baby’s head just in front ofthe ears.
Obstetric forceps are of various types
but basically consist of two blades that
cup around the baby’s head.
Fordyce’s disease
A fairly common condition consisting
of raised yellow patches on the lips
and gums and in the lining of the
mouth. The patches are composed of
misplaced
sebaceous glands
. T h e
disease
is also known as Fordyce’s granules.
The condition is not serious and does
not usually need treatment.
forebrain
The foremost, and largest, of the main
divisions of the
brain
.
The forebrain is
responsible for controlling many of the
brain’s
higher
functions,
including
conscious thought.
foreign body
An object that is present in an organ
or passage of the body but should not
be there. A foreign body may enter
the body accidentally (for example, by
inhalation or swallowing), or it may
be introduced deliberately (for exam-
ple, a child pushing a bead into a
nostril). The most common sites for
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