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In medicine and nursing, gross and grossly have distinct meanings. Imprecisely, it means "very much", "so much", "definitely", "absolutely", "positively", "very noticeably", etc.

Patient records often contain these kind of examples:

  • Motor strength grossly intact. (Meaning: motor strength is very much normal)
  • Grossly obese. (Or... Morbidly obese.) (Meaning: Patient is extremely obese, but some doctors often use this if a patient is more than 25 pounds overweight.)
  • Neuro exam grossly WNL. (WNL means within normal limits, so, very much WNL.)
  • Reflexes grossly intact. (Meaning: Reflexes very much within normal limits.)
  • Gross evidence of pus and blood in urine. (Means, can see a lot of pus and blood without lab testing, unless a test is specified.) OR, Gross hematuria (means lot of blood in urine and can be seen even without testing)
  • Grossly normal gait. (Meaning: The patient's walking or gait couldn't be any more normal.)

NOTE: Doctor's notes are not written as complete sentences. Please do not edit these examples.

Any area of examination could include the adjectives of gross or grossly. In fact, sometimes if a patient's chief complaint is about one thing in particular, but the exam shows absolutely no reason for the symptom, the doctor will be more inclined to use gross or grossly as the adjective to describe "absolutely nothing found" or "absolutely normal".

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Q: What does Motor strength grossly intact mean?
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