Orthopedic Expert Medical Witness


Preexisting condition has been made significantly worse by a second condition or event.

AMA Guides

Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment published by the American Medical Association is the most widely used tool for the evaluation of functional impairment.


An estimate, usually expressed as a percentage of the degree to which each of several factors caused or contributed to the impairment or disability.


Whether or not a person has the ability to perform specific tasks.


Legal or administrative system determination of the cause or causes of the injury or illness that has resulted in a permanent or temporary impairment.

Chart Review

Review of medical records submitted and an assessment of the outstanding issues based solely on those records.

Common Law

Prior judicial decisions (precedents) that impose obligations and liability on certain persons.

Cross Examination

The questioning of a witness by the party opposed to the one who produced him or her, upon evidence given, to test its truth.


Oral Testimony under oath before an officer of the court and taken down by a court reporter; may be taken at any location but usually is held at an attorney's office or the witness's place of business

Direct examination

The questioning of a witness by the party on whose behalf he or she is called.


Inability to perform a task successfully because of an insufficiency in one or more areas of functional capacity; physical function, mental function, agility, dexterity, coordination, strength, endurance, knowledge, skill, intellectual ability, or experience; limitation in work activities or the activities of everyday living resulting from impairment; the fit between ability and function in a job.


Testimony heard at trial and the documents admitted at trial.


Any person who by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education has scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will aid the judge or jury in determining the facts at issue in a lawsuit,; the knowledge must be of a type not normally possessed by the general public or for which the expire has some special expertise.

Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)

Evaluation of specific physical activities, such as lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, and running, in relation to both the demands of a job and the activities of daily living.  Also, functional capacity evaluation or functional capacity testing.


Anatomic or physiologic loss of structure or function.

Independent medical evaluation (IME)

A one-time medical examination performed by a health-care professional who is not involved in the care of the examinee for the purpose of providing information to a third party.


Written questions posed by one party to the other party in litigation; may relate to the facts of the case, potential evidence at the trial, subject matter on which an expert witness is expected to testify, substance of facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify, and a summary of the grounds for each opinion.

Light Duty

Means of specifying the amount of work a person may do in terms of force exerted

Limited Duty

Means of specific the amount of work a person may do in terms of time on the job.


Pretending incapacity (such as injury or illness) to avoid duty or work.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

The condition from which the examinee is not expected to improve significantly with reasonable medical treatment.

Medically Possible

50% or less of the evidence favors the event in question as the cause.

Medically Probable

50% or more of the evidence favors the event in question as the cause.


Chance of an adverse event occurring, either aggravation of the condition or a new injury.

Second Opinion Evaluation

Evaluation to answer a question such as "is surgery appropriate in this case or is there another treatment that might be considered?"


Expression of psychological needs in physical symptoms, such as conversion into physical symptoms a wish for material gain in legal action following injury.


Written documents that explicitly define certain rules and duties, often subject to differing interpretations.

Symptom Magnification

Exaggeration of pain, disability caused by injury or illness

The Law

Term used by attorneys to refer to the controlling rules of litigation, made up of statutes, regulations, and common law; varies from state to state and from state courts to federal courts.

Waddell Sign

One of five criteria to determine the presence of somatization, symptom magnification, or malingering.