Health Library

Welcome to the Scripps health information library. It’s part of our commitment to partnering with you for lifelong wellness.

Here you can read articles on hundreds of health conditions and wellness topics, complete with medical illustrations and links to related symptoms, procedures and conditions.

Visit the library content using the tools below.

  • Disease

    Kaposi’s sarcoma

    Kaposi's sarcoma on the foot.  This once-rare malignancy of the blood vessels is now associated with AIDS.  It is more frequently associated with AIDS in homosexual men than AIDS in IV drug users.  The malignancy results in purplish grape-like lesions in the skin, gastrointestinal tract and other organs.

    Kaposi’s sarcoma is a cancerous of the connective tissue, and is often associated with .

  • Test


    Karyotyping is a test used to identify chromosome abnormalities as the cause of malformation or disease. The test can be performed on a sample of blood, bone marrow, amniotic fluid, or placental tissue.

    Karyotyping is a test to examine chromosomes in a sample of cells, which can help identify genetic problems as the cause of a disorder or disease. This test can: Count the number of chromosomes Look for structural changes in chromosomes

  • Disease

    Kawasaki disease

    Kawasaki's disease can produce various rashes and skin manifestations.  This photograph shows mild swelling (edema) and redness associated with the disease. The hands and feet may be tender to touch and the skin may peel once the redness begins to fade.

    Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that involves inflammation of the blood vessels. It occurs in children.

  • Special Topic

    Keeping your medications organized

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Kegel exercises - self-care

    Pelvic muscle strengthening exercises; Pelvic floor exercises

  • Disease


    Keloids are overgrowths of scar tissue that follow skin injuries.  Keloids may appear after such minor trauma as ear piercing.  Dark skinned individuals tend to form keloids more readily than lighter skinned individuals.

    A keloids is a growth of extra scar tissue where the skin has healed after an injury.

  • Disease


    The cornea is the crystal clear portion of the surface of the eye that lets light enter.  The cornea is well supplied with nerve endings which is why some people can never get used to wearing contacts.

    Keratoconus is an eye disease that affects the structure of the cornea. The cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape. The eye bulges out. This causes vision problems.

  • Disease

    Keratosis obturans

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    Keratosis obturans is the build up of extra skin cells and flakey skin in the ear canal. It may be associated with pain or mild hearing loss.

  • Disease

    Keratosis pilaris

    Keratosis pilaris occurs most commonly during childhood and produces small, rough spots (papules) that are typically skin-colored. They usually appear over the outer surface of the upper arms and thighs, but may also occur elsewhere on the body.  Dry skin (especially during winter months) makes the condition worse.  Keratosis pilaris tends to be inherited and may be associated with atopic dermatitis.

    Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles.

  • Disease



    Kernicterus is a rare neurological condition that occurs in some newborns with severe jaundice. See also:

  • Poison

    Kerosene poisoning

    Kerosene is an oil used as a fuel for lamps, as well as heating and cooking. This article discusses the harmful effects from swallowing or breathing in kerosene. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you ...

  • Test

    Ketones - urine

    The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder.

    Ketones build up when the body needs to break down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. This is most likely to occur when the body does not get enough sugar or carbohydrates. A urine test can be done to check the level of ketones in your body.

  • Poison

    Ketoprofen overdose

    Ketoprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ketoprofen occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If ...

  • Special Topic

    Kidney disease - resources

    The kidneys filter wastes and excrete fluid when the pressure of blood in the bloodstream forces blood through the internal structures of the kidney.

  • Test

    Kidney function tests

    The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.

    Kidney function tests are common lab tests used to evaluate how well the kidneys are working. Such tests include:

  • imagepage

    Kidney pain

    A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney. Kidney stones may be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

  • Surgery

    Kidney removal

    The kidneys are located in the posterior abdomen and are responsible for filtering urine from the blood.

    Kidney removal, or nephrectomy, is surgery to remove all or part of a kidney. It may involve: Part of one kidney removed (partial nephrectomy) All of one kidney removed (simple nephrectomy) Removal of one entire kidney, surrounding lymph nodes, and the adrenal gland (radical nephrectomy)

  • Disease

    Kidney stones

    Kidney stones result when urine becomes too concentrated and substances in the urine crystalize to form stones. Symptoms arise when the stones begin to move down the ureter causing intense pain. Kidney stones may form in the pelvis or calyces of the kidney or in the ureter.

    A kidney stone is a solid mass made up of tiny crystals. One or more stones can be in the kidney or ureter at the same time. See also:

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Kidney stones - self-care

    Renal calculi – self-care; Nephrolithiasis – self-care; Stones – kidney – self-care

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Kidney stones - what to ask your doctor

    A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in your kidney. The kidney stone may be stuck in your ureter (the tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder). It also may be stuck in your bladder or urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body). A ...

  • Surgery

    Kidney transplant

    The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.

    A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney into a person with .

  • Special Topic


    Kinins are proteins in the blood that cause inflammation and affect blood pressure (especially low blood pressure). They also: Increase blood flow throughout the body Make it easier for fluids to pass through small blood vessels Stimulate pain receptors Are part of a complex system that helps repair ...

  • Disease

    Klinefelter syndrome

    Klinefelter syndrome is the presence of an extra X chromosome in a male.

  • Disease

    Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome

    Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome is a rare condition that is present at birth. The syndrome usually involves , excess growth of bones and soft tissue, and .

  • Surgery

    Knee arthroscopy

    Knee arthroscopy

    Knee arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera to look inside your knee. Small cuts are made to insert the camera and small surgical tools into your knee for the procedure.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Knee braces - unloading

    Unloading brace

  • Test

    Knee CT scan

    A computed tomography (CT) scan of the knee is test that uses x-rays to make detailed images of the knee.

  • Surgery

    Knee joint replacement

    A prosthesis is a device designed to replace a missing part of the body, or to make a part of the body work better. The metal prosthetic device in knee joint replacement surgery replaces cartilage and bone which is damaged from disease or aging.

    Knee joint replacement is surgery to replace a knee joint with a man-made (artificial) joint. The artificial joint is called a .

  • Surgery

    Knee microfracture surgery

    Joints, particularly hinge joints like the elbow and the knee, are complex structures made up of bone, muscles, synovium, cartilage, and ligaments that are designed to bear weight and move the body through space. The knee consists of the femur (thigh bone) above, and the tibia (shin bone) and fibula below. The kneecap (patella) glides through a shallow groove on the front part of the lower thigh bone. Ligaments and tendons connect the three bones of the knee, which are contained in the joint capsule (synovium) and are cushioned by cartilage.

    Knee microfracture surgery is a common procedure used to repair damaged knee cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion and cover the area where bones meet in the joints.

  • Test

    Knee MRI scan

    A knee MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses energy from strong magnets to create pictures of the knee joint and muscles and tissues. An MRI does not use radiation (x-rays). Single MRI images are called slices. The images can be stored on a computer or printed on film. One exam produces many ...

  • Symptoms

    Knee pain

    The location of knee pain can help identify the problem. Pain on the front of the knee can be due to bursitis, arthritis, or softening of the patella cartilage as in chondromalacia patella. Pain on the sides of the knee is commonly related to injuries to the collateral ligaments, arthritis, or tears to the meniscuses. Pain in the back of the knee can be caused by arthritis or cysts, known as Baker’s cysts. Baker’s cysts are an accumulation of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms behind the knee. Overall knee pain can be due to bursitis, arthritis, tears in the ligaments, osteoarthritis of the joint, or infection.Instability, or giving way, is also another common knee problem. Instability is usually associated with damage or problems with the meniscuses, collateral ligaments, or patella tracking.

    Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages. It may start suddenly, often after an injury or exercise. Knee pain may also began as a mild discomfort, then slowly worsen.

  • Injury

    Kneecap dislocation

    Knee arthroscopy is surgery that is done to check for problems, using a tiny camera to see inside your knee. Other medical instruments may also be inserted to repair your knee.

    Kneecap dislocation occurs when the triangle-shaped bone covering the knee (patella) moves or slides out of place. The problem usually occurs toward the outside of the leg.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Kneecap dislocation - aftercare

    Patellar subluxation – aftercare; Patellofemoral subluxation – aftercare; Kneecap subluxation- aftercare

  • Disease

    Knock knees

    Knock knees is a condition in which the knees touch, but the ankles do not touch. The legs turn inward.

  • Disease

    Krabbe disease

    Krabbe disease is a rare genetic disorder of the nervous system. It is a type of leukodystrophy.

  • Disease


    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Kuru is a disease of the nervous system.

  • Disease


    Kwashiorkor is a condition resulting from inadequate protein intake. Early symptoms include fatigue, irritability, and lethargy.  As protein deprivation continues, one sees growth failure, loss of muscle mass, generalized swelling (edema), and decreased immunity. A large, protuberant belly is common.  The incidence of kwashiorkor in children in the U.S. is extremely small and it is typically found in countries where there is drought and famine.

    Kwashiorkor is a form of that occurs when there is not enough in the diet.

  • Surgery


    Kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure used to treat painful compression fractures in the spine. In a compression fracture, all or part of a spine bone collapses. The procedure is also called balloon kyphoplasty.

  • Disease


    Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing of the back, such that the apex of the angle points backwards leading to a hunchback or slouching posture.

    Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.