Glossary of Prosthetic & Orthotic terms

Have you heard a technical phrase about your prosthetic or orthotic that you were a little too shy or overwhelmed to ask about?  Here’s a glossary of O&P abbreviations and terms which may help you.  Please be sure to ask us if something is unclear to you. We’re here to help!

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A

AAOP: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists; professional society for ABC (board certified) practitioners. The Academy is dedicated to: (1) attainment of the highest standards of technical competence and ethical conduct by its members; (2) the professional recognition of qualified practitioners; (3) the assurances that practitioners who apply for or are admitted to membership maintain high standards of professional conduct; and (4) collaboration with other educational, research, and related organizations in developing technical and ethical standards for orthotics and prosthetics.

ABC: American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics; nationally recognized certification (ie credentialing) board for individuals and facilities in the fields of orthotics and prosthetics. They advocate for patient care and organizational standards.  They (1) measure patient care provider’s knowledge and skills through rigorous credentialing programs; (2) establish standards of organizational performance throuigh facility accreditation; (3) mandate professional continuing education to maintain competency; (4) administer a professional discipline program

ABDUCTION: The movement of a limb away from the median, or midline, of the body. Abduction of the legs, for example, draws them apart.

ABRASION: Wearing away of the skin through rubbing or friction.

ACHILLES TENDON:  the largest and strongest tendon, the Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus).  Small sacs of fluid called bursae cushion the Achilles tendon at the heel. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body.  Despite its strength, the Achilles tendon is also vulnerable to injury, due to its limited blood supply and the high tensions placed on it.

ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE:  A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon may make a “pop” sound, followed by pain and swelling of the lower leg. Treating an Achilles tendon rupture requires surgery or long-term immobilization of the ankle.

ACHILLES TENDON TEAR: Can be tiny (microtears), or large, causing pain, swelling, and impaired movement. They may occur suddenly during activity, or gradually over time.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS:  inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

ADAPTER: Device used to connect a prosthetic socket to a pylon/foot.

ADDUCTION: The movement of a limb towards the median, or midline, of the body. Adduction of the legs, for example, draws them together.

ADLs: Activities of Daily Living; refers to the normal activities that all people must complete every day, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

AE: Above Elbow amputation of the upper limb between the elbow and the shoulder; also referred to as transhumoral, A short amputation (near the shoulder) results in the loss of shoulder rotation.  With a long amputation (just above the elbow) the patient should retain good shoulder function.

AFO: Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the lower leg and foot, externally applied and intended to control position and motion of the ankle, compensate for weakness, or correct deformities. Also used to support weak limbs, or to position a limb with contracted muscles into a more normal position. They are also used to immobilize the ankle and lower leg in the presence of arthritis or fracture, and to correct foot drop; an AFO is also known as a foot-drop brace. (Sunshine P&O AFOs for Adults, AFOs for Children )

AIR SPLINT:  Orthosis that contains an air chamber to customize fit.

AK: Above Knee; also referred to as transfemoral. It is an amputation between the knee and the hip and the prosthetic devices have to control two joints (knee and ankle) through mechanical means.

A.K. PROTHESIS: Prosthesis after transfemoral amputation.

A.K. SOCKET: Above-knee (transfemoral) socket.

ALIGNMENT:  the position of the socket relative to the foot and knee.  The act of alignment puts the body in a correct position.  Static alignment is the initial position and Dynamic alignment is the fine adjustments made to the socket after the patient walks in the prosthesis.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACTFederal legislation passed in 1990 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services and accommodations, and telecommunications.

ANKLE/FOOT ORTHOSIS (AFO): An orthosis for the treatment of disorders of the ankle and foot below the knee joint. (Sunshine P&O AFO for Adults, AFO for Children )

ANKLE BLOCK:  Connector between prosthetic foot and shin.

ANKLE INSTABILITY: – instability as a result of loose ligaments, acute or chronic ankle injuries including sprains and or strains

ANKLE ORTHOSIS (AO): An orthosis used for the treatment of disorders only involving the ankle.

ANTERIOR: The front of the body, or a foot or shoe.

AOPA: American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association is a trade organization of facilities in the fields of orthotics and prosthetics services.

APEX: The thickest part of a flare, rocker sole or metatarsal bar.

ASSISTIVE DEVICE: equipment designed to aid in mobility, includes ramps and bars, or individual devices such as a walker or cane.

ATROPHY: continual decrease in size and strength of muscles due to nonuse; a normal and expected result of amputation.

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B

BALL GIRTH: The circumference measurement around the 1st to 5th metatarsal area.

BE: Below Elbow amputation of the upper limb; also referred to as transradial.

BELOW ELBOW PROSTHESIS (BEP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm below the elbow. (Sunshine P&O Upper limb prosthetics for Adults, Upper limb prosthetics for Children )

BELOW THE KNEE PROSTHESIS (BKP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot and ankle below the knee. (Sunshine P&O Lower limb prosthetics for Adults, Lower limb prosthetics for Children)

BENCH ALIGNMENT: Static alignment of prosthetic/orthotic components while the patient is seated.

BILATERAL AMPUTEE:  a person who has had amputations of both arms or legs, or combination, regardless at which level.

BIOMECHANICS: The science of locomotion of the body.

BISCAPULAR ABDUCTION:  Bringing both shoulders forward

BISCAPULAR ADDUCTION:  Bringing both shoulders backward

BK: Below Knee; also referred to as transtibial.

BLIND EYELET: An eyelet (metal or plastic) concealed beneath the top; surface of the shoe with only a small rimless hole on the topside.

BLUCHER: a front-laced shoe where the quarters are not attached at the throat.

BOSTON BRACE:  Spinal orthosis developed in Boston, USA to treat various back diagnoses. (Sunshine P&O Boston Brace)

BOTTOM FILLER: material that fills the space between the outer and inner soles.

BREATHABILITY: the ability to let air exchange to the foot through the material of the shoe

BULBOUS:  description of residual limb that is larger in circumference at the end than it is at the top, bulb-shaped.

BUNION: a thickening of the first metatarsal joint of the great toe, usually associated with enlargement and lateral displacement of the toe.  Heredity, degenerative bone or joint diseases such as arthritis or ill fitting shoes may cause bunions.

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C

CAVUS FOOT DEFORMITIES:  characterized by an abnormally high longitudinal arch or concavity of the sole of the foot. This condition causes excessive pressure on the heel and the forefoot. An orthosis can often help to redistribute pressure and help prevent skin breakdown and abrasions.

CERTIFIED PEDORTHIST: a person who has met certification criteria established by the Board for Certification in Pedorthics (BCP) and meets continuing education requirements.

CERVICAL ORTHOSIS (CO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the cervical spine. (Sunshine P&O Adult Spinal Orthoses, Pediatric Spinal Orthoses)

CERVICAL/THORACIC/LUMBOSACRAL ORTHOSIS (CTLSO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical, thoracic and/or lumbosacral spine.   (Sunshine P&O Adult Spinal Orthoses, Pediatric Spinal Orthoses)

CERVICAL/THORACIC ORTHOSIS (CTO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical and/or thoracic spine.  (Sunshine P&O Adult Spinal Orthoses, Pediatric Spinal Orthoses)

CHARCOT JOINT DISEASE: the progressive degeneration of a weight bearing joint, a process marked by bony destruction and eventual deformity, usually a result of Diabetes.

CHARCOT MARIE TOOTH DISEASE (CMT): a nerve conduction causing weakness and mild loss of sensation in the limbs. Patients often have rigid cavus deformities of the foot and ankle

CHARCOT RESTRAINT ORTHOTIC WALKER: C.R.O.W.boot  is designed to reduce pressure and strain on the surface of the sole of the foot. It was developed for patients with severe deformity of the foot and ankle due to acute nerve damage.

CHUKKA: a three quarter Blucher boot with 2-3 eyelets

CIRCUMDUCTION: During gait the affected limb will swing outward and then back in through swing phase

CLUB FOOT: a foot that points downward; the toes turn inward and the bottom of the foot faces inward. If this condition occurs when a baby is born it is called congenital clubfoot. If left untreated the condition can worsen causing the patient to walk on the top of their foot. Serial casting, corrective surgical procedures and an orthosis are often used to treat this condition.

CO: Certified Orthotist; orthotist who has passed the certification standards of the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics

COLLAR: the narrow strip of material stitched around the topline of the shoe, sometimes padded.

COLLATERAL LIGAMENTS: Ligaments bridging the side of joints.

CONGENITAL AMPUTEE: a person born without one or more limbs; more technically referred to as having a “limb deficiency.”

CONGENITAL ANOMALY: birth abnormality such as a missing limb (amelia) or deformed limb (phocomelia).

CONGENITAL DEFICIENCY: birth abnormality referring to abnormal development of a limb or limbs.

CONICAL STUMP: A stump being larger in the proximal circumference (top of bone) than in the distal circumference (bottom of bone). Cone-shaped with the larger end at the top.

CONTRACTURE: Tightening of muscles around a joint which restricts the range of motion.

COOKIE: a longitudinal arch pad

CP: Certified Prosthetist; prosthetist who has passed the certification standards of the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics

CPO: Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist; practitioner who has passed the certification standards of the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics in both orthotics and prosthetics

CROW BOOT: Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker is designed to reduce pressure and strain on the surface of the sole of the foot. It was developed for patients with severe deformity of the foot and ankle due to acute nerve damage.

CVA: Cerebral Vascular Accident; stroke.

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D

DEFINITIVE PROSTHESIS:  also called a “permanent” prosthesis, it is the final prosthesis meeting all standards for optimal fit and function.

DIABETES MELLITUS:  Disease caused by insufficient insulin production or lack of responsiveness to insulin. Diabetes is one of the major reasons for limb amputation today.

DIABETIC ULCER: ulceration or death of tissue in foot or lower leg, caused by diabetes.

DIPLEGIA: Paralysis of all four extremities, with the lower extremities more severely involved than the upper extremities.

DISARTICULATION: an amputation through a joint such as the hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

DISTAL: A structure that is located farther away from the attached end of a limb.

DOFFING: removing an orthotic or prosthetic device.

DONNING: put on an orthotic or prosthetic device.

DORSAL SURFACE: The top of the foot and the back of the hand.

DOUBLER: an interlining placed between the vamp and the vamp lining for added reinforcement

DORSIFLEXION: Bending the wrist so the dorsal surface of the hand points toward the forearm; bending the ankle so the foot points upward.

DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: Assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, canes, etc. that help a patient with rehabilitative needs.

DYSTROPHY: loss of muscle mass.

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E

EDEMA: Swelling of the tissue.

ELBOW DISARTICULATION PROSTHESIS (EDP): A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm through the elbow joint. (Sunshine P&O  Adult Upper Limb Prostheses, Pediatric Upper Limb Prothesis)

ELBOW ORTHOSIS (EO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the elbow.

ELBOW/WRIST/HAND/ORTHOSIS (EWHO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the elbow, wrist, hand, and/or fingers below the shoulder joint. (Sunshine P&O Adult Upper Limb Orthoses, Pediatric Upper Limb Orthoses)

ELECTRIC POWERED COMPONENT: An electric powered elbow, wrist, hand, or hook component utilized to provide controlled positioning for functional use in the design of a prostheses.

ELEVATION: material added to the bottom of the shoe to adjust for discrepancy in limb length

EMG – ELECTROMYOGRAM: The monitoring or assessment of electrical impulses that are released during voluntary or involuntary muscle contractions of muscles.

END CUSHION: A pad-like construction, used in prosthetic sockets to improve end-contact and end-bearing of stumps.

ENERGY RETURN:  A spring-like feeling of return from a specific type of prosthetic foot

ED: Elbow Disarticulation; amputation through the elbow joint.

E.O.:  Elbow Orthosis.

EPICONDYLITIS: Inflammation of the elbow,  referred to as tennis elbow.

EQUINOVALGUS FOOT DEFORMITY: Congenital foot deformity that appears wth the bottom of the foot turned out and the toes straight down.

EQUINOVARUS FOOT DEFORMITY: Congenital foot deformity that appears wth the bottom of the foot turned in and the toes straight down.

EQUINUS POSITION FOOT: inability to keep foot at right angle to leg, possibly due to tight calf muscles or short Achilles tendon

EVERSION:  Rotation of hand or foot away from the midline.

E.W.H.O.:  Elbow Wrist Hand Orthosis

EXO-SKELETAL:  Prosthesis without pylon or components. Has a hard finish with no internal componentry.

EXOSKELETAL DESIGN: A construction technique that uses wood or hard foam as the support structure. This prosthesis is identified by its hard external finish.

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F

FEMORAL CONDYLE: The bulbous part of the femur that attaches to the knee joint.

FEMORAL CHANNEL: The channel that runs just behind the femur in a prosthetic socket.

F.E.S.:  Functional Electrical Stimulation.

FIBULA: The small bone that runs along the side of the lower leg.

FIBULAR HEAD:  The prominent bone on the side of the leg just below the knee.

FLARE: a widened sole base of heel

FOOT ORTHOSIS (FO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the foot below the ankle joint. (Sunshine P&O Adult Foot Orthoses,  Pediatric Foot Orthoses)

FOOT SLAP:   The forward part of foot hits the floor abruptly after the heel of foot touches the floor.

FOUR-QUARTER AMPUTATION: amputation of the arm, shoulder, clavicle and scapula. Also referred to as Interscapulothoracic. 

FRACTURE ORTHOSIS:  an orthotic device that immobilizes a fractured bone allowing the bones to heal together in proper alignment.

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G

GAIT TRAINING: Learning how to walk with your prosthesis or prostheses.

GENU RECURVATUM:  Condition in which the knee is hyperextended.

GENU VALGUM: Commonly known as knock-knee, the knees angle and touch each other when the legs are straightened.

GENU VARUM:  Commonly known as bowlegs, the thigh bows outwards.

GORING: an elastic fabric inserted in the front or side(s) of an upper so the opening expands to accommodate the foot.

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H

HALO BRACE:  Cervical Orthosis used for unstable cervical fractures that have pins that immobilize the skull.

HAMMER TOES:   an excessive hyperextension of one or more toes, often called claw toes. This condition is frequently seen in rheumatoid diseases.

HAND ORTHOSIS (HO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders of the hand and/or fingers below the wrist joint.

H.D.:  Hip disarticulation.

HEEL BREAST: the anterior margin of the heel

HEEL ELEVATION: material added to the heel to accommodate equinus position or limb length discrepancy

HEMIPELVECTOMY PROSTHESIS (HP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete leg involving the foot, ankle, shin, thigh, hip, and pelvis.

HEMIPLEGIA: Paralysis of one-half of the body, specifically the upper and lower extremities on the same side, and half the trunk of the body.

HIP DISARTICULATION PROSTHESIS (HDP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete leg involving the foot, ankle, shin and thigh at the hip joint level.

HIP/KNEE/ANKLE/FOOT/ORTHOSIS (HKAFO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot.

HIP ORTHOSIS (HO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders only involving the hip.

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I

IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS:  Adolescent scoliosis with an unknown cause

INITIAL SWING:  Part of swing phase when the leg begins to swing forward during walking

INVERSION: The inward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces toward the median, or midline, of the body.

IPOP or Immediate Post Operative Prosthesis: A temporary prosthesis applied in the operating room immediately after an amputation.

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J

JOINT:  The contact point of two or more bones. They are constructed to allow movement and provide mechanical support and are classified structually and functionally.

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K

KAFO: Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the entire leg. (Sunshine P&O KAFO)

KD: Knee Disarticulation; amputation through the knee joint.

K.D. SOCKET:  Socket for knee disarticulation.

KEEL: Inner component of prosthetic feet.

KNEE SLEEVE: A soft material that supports the knee joint.

KNEE/ANKLE/FOOT ORTHOSIS (KAFO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders of the knee, ankle, and foot below the hip joint. (Sunshine P&O KAFO)

KNEE DISARTICULATION PROSTHESIS (KDP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot, ankle and shin at the knee joint level.

KNEE ORTHOSIS (KO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders only involving the knee. (Sunshine P&O Knee Braces)

KYPHOSIS: Exaggerated posterior, or backward, curvature in the thoracic region.

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L

LACE STAY: the portion of the upper containing eyelets

LAST: a model approximating the shape and size of the foot, over which a shoe is made

LATERAL (EXTERNAL) ROTATION:  The rotation of a body part away from the median, or midline, of the body. Also referred to as external rotation. 

LEVER ARM: Term used in prosthetics to describe length of residual limb. The longer the lever arm, the more leverage and stability.

LIGAMENTS:  tissue that connects bone to bone

LORDOSIS: Exaggerated anterior, or forward, curvature in the lumbar or cervical regions.

L.S.O.:  Lumbo-Sacral Orthosis  (Sunshine P&O Adult Spinal Orthoses, Child Spinal Orthoses)

LUMBAR:   referring to the five lumbar vertebrae which are situated below the thoracic vertebrae and above the sacral vertebrae in the spinal column.

LUMBO SACRAL ORTHOSIS (LSO):  Brace used to support or immobilize the lower back (Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis). (Sunshine P&O Adult Spinal Orthoses, Child Spinal Orthoses)

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M

MASTECTOMY PROSTHESIS (MP): A prosthesis used for complete surgical removal or congenital absence of one or both breasts. (Sunshine P&O Mastectomy Prostheses)

MEDIAL (INTERNAL) ROTATION: The rotation of a body part toward the median, or midline, of the body.

MEDIAN PLANE: The vertical plane that divides the body into right and left halves.

METATARSAL BAR: rubber, leather or synthetic bar applied transversely to the sole of the shoe

MULTIAXIS FOOT:  foot design that allows inversion and eversion of the foot; this type of foot is effective for walking on uneven surfaces.

MYOELECTRICS:  powers the upper-extremity prosthesis based on electrical signals generated by the muscles remaining in the limb.

MYODESIS:  amputation procedure attaching muscles to the end of bone.

MYOPLASTY:  amputation procedure attaching muscles are to opposing muscles.

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N

NEGATIVE PRESSURE: A type of pressure that occurs when air is trapped inside a socket end and causes a suction on the stump.

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O

ORTHOSIS: Custom fabricated or fitted brace or support intended to provide support and/or control of disorders associated with neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal dysfunctions.

ORTHOTICS: The science and clinical service of providing orthotic rehabilitation engineering services related to the assessment, design and development of external assistive, supportive, and/or corrective anatomical devices, referred to as orthoses, for the purpose of restoring specific neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal disorders of the human body.

ORTHOTIST: An allied health practitioner specifically trained in providing orthotic services at the direction of, and in consultation with, a licensed practicing physician.

 

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P

PARALLEL BARS: Stationary bars that are used as a walking aide for balance when learning to walk with an orthosis/prosthesis

PARAPLEGIA:  Traumatic paralysis of lower part of the body (both legs).

PARTIAL FOOT AMPUTATION: an amputation of the foot at varying levels; can range from amputation of one or more toes up to most of the foot.

PARTIAL FOOT PROSTHESIS (PFP):  A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot and/or toes below the ankle.

PARTIAL HAND PROSTHESIS  (PHP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand and/or fingers below the wrist.

PARTIAL MASTECTOMY PROSTHESIS  (PMP): A prosthesis used for partial surgical removal or congenital absence of the breast.

PATELLA:  Another word used to describe the knee cap.

PATELLAR TENDON: Soft tendon located just below the knee cap.

PEDORTHICS:  The practice and science of providing pediatric rehabilitation engineering services related to the design, manufacture, modification and fit of shoes and foot orthoses to alleviate foot problems in children and adolescents caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.

PERONEAL PALSY:  a condition caused by injury or damage to the peroneal nerve. Patients often experience drop foot or weakened dorsiflexors.

PES ADDUCTUS:  Forefoot inverted, adducted, pathological misalignment.

PES CALCANEUS:  Ankle is dorsiflexed and the toes are elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the heel.

PES CAVUS:  Exaggerated height of the longitudinal arch of the foot.

PES EQUINUS:  Ankle is plantar flexed and the heel is elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the toes.

PES PLANUS:  Commonly known as flatfoot, the foot looks flat and is almost always bent outward. Also referred to as planovalgus.

PES VALGUS:  An acquired deformity where the weight is borne on the inner border of the foot and the sole is turned outward. Also referred to as talipes valgus.

PES VARUS:  A deformity in which the weight is borne on the outer border of the foot and the sole of the foot is turned inward. Also referred to as talipes varus.

PHANTOM PAIN: Pain, which seems to be located in the portion of the limb, which was removed.

PHOCOMELIAS:  Refers to a missing segment or under developed limb;  usually presents itself as very small, deformed versions of normal limbs.

PHYSIATRIST: A doctor of Rehabilitation Medicine who specializes in the comprehensive management of patients with impairments and disabilities arising from neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and vascular disorders.

PISTONING: Refers to the residual limb slipping up and down inside the prosthetic socket while walking.

PLANTAR FLEXION: Bending the ankle so the foot points downward.

PLANTAR SURFACE: The bottom, or sole, of the foot.

PLY: Thickness of stump sock material. The higher the ply number the thicker the socket.

PNEUMATIC JOINT CONTROL:  Cylinder/piston device controlling prosthetic joint motion.

POSITIVE MOLD:  three-dimensional cast made of a plaster impression

POSTERIOR:  Behind, toward the back of the body.

POSTERO-LATERAL:  The back and outside of a specific object.

POSTERO-MEDIAL:  The back and inside of a specific object.

POSTING: wedging the base of an orthoses

POST-OP RIGID DRESSING:  A protective cast applied in surgery or very soon after amputation to control swelling and pain; used to promote shrinkage and shaping of the residual limb in preparation for a prosthetic fitting.

PREFABRICATED ORTHOSIS:   a device manufactured in quantity without a specific patient in mind, such as insoles sold in drug stores. The device requires some assembly, fitting or adjustment or other modification to fit a specific patient.

PREHENSION:  To hold, grasp or pinch.There are various types. (three jaw chuck, lateral prehension).

PREPATORY (TEMPORARY) PROSTHESIS:  An artificial limb that is designed, fabricated and fitted soon after surgery; the prosthesis is worn as the residual limb is healing.

PRONATION: The movement of the forearm so that the hand rests palm down on a surface.

PROSTHETIC SOCK:  A sock knitted to fit the shape of the residual limb worn inside the socket. The sock reduces the friction between the residual limb and the socket and replaces lost volume in the socket due to shrinking of the residual limb.

PROTRACTION: The forward movement of a body part such as the shoulder.

P.T.B.:  Patella Tendon Bearing.

P.T.B. PROTHESIS:  A prosthesis designed for weight bearing at the patella tendon.

PUSH OFF:  The last part of stance phase when the foot comes off the ground.

PYLON:   the internal frame or skeleton of the prosthetic limb.  It provides structural support and may be made of metal rods or carbon-fiber composites. The pylons are sometimes enclosed by a cover, typically made from a foam-like material. The cover can be shaped and colored to match the recipient’s skin tone to give the prosthetic limb a more lifelike appearance.  They may also be covered by fairings, removable prosthetic covers.

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Q

QUADRILATERAL SOCKET:  The Quad socket has a shelf about one inch wide on the posterior wall of the socket which the Ischial Tuberosity (sitz bone) rests on . The Quad socket has four clearly defined sides.

QUADRIPLEGIA (TETRAPLEGIA) : Paralysis of all four extremities and the trunk. Also referred to as tetraplegia.

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R

RANGE OF MOTION:  The amount of movement a limb has in a specific direction at a specific joint such as your hip or knee. important to the mobilization of affected areas after the initial healing process has begun to help prevent contractures, maintain muscle strength and promote bone growth.

RELIEF AREA:  When fabricating an orthosis or prosthesis, reliefs are made to provide space over a wound or bony prominence.

RESIDUAL LIMB:   The portion of the limb remaining after amputation.

RETRACTION: The backward movement of a body part such as the shoulder.

REVISION: Surgical modification of the residual limb.

R.G.O.:  Reciprocating Gait Orthosis; special HKAFO that mechanically allows paralyzed persons to walk step over step; generally used with crutches or sometimes a walker for balance.

ROCKER BOTTOM SOLE:  A modification on the sole of a shoe that removes material on the toe and the heel of the sole. Allows for a quicker rollover as well as distributes pressure through the stance phase.

ROCKER SWITCH CONTROL:  Used for momentary actuation of two functions (eg: ON/OFF) of an electric powered component; the switch rocks back and forth.

ROTATION:   A circular or turning movement of a body part, such as the back or head, around its axis.

ROTATOR:  Prosthetic device providing vertical rotation.

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S

SACROILIAC JOINT:  Joint between sacrum and pelvis.

SACROILIAC ORTHOSIS:   Lumbo-Sacral-Pelvic Orthosis. (LSP)

SACH FOOT:  Solid Ankle Cushion Heel. Refers to a compressible heel wedge that provides “pseudo-plantar flexion” on a prosthetic foot. Used for low activity patients.

SACRAL ORTHOSIS (SO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the sacrum.

SCAPULAR-THORACIC PROSTHESIS (STP): A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete arm involving the hand, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder through the scapular-thoracic juncture.

SCOLIOSIS: Lateral, or outward, curvature of the spine in the thoracic and/or lumbar regions.

S.E.O. : Shoulder Elbow Orthosis.

S.E.W.H.O.: Shoulder Elbow Hand Wrist Hand Orthosis.

S.E.W.O.: Shoulder Elbow Hand Wrist Orthosis.

SHANK: the firm, stiff, inflexible area of the shoe betwen the heel breast and ball

SHEATH: Type of sock used directly against the skin to cut down on friction when wearing a prosthesis.

SHOCK ABSORBER: Component used on a prosthesis that reduces vertical impact forces.

SHOE INSERT:  Foot orthosis, arch support which fits inside a shoe.

SHOULDER DISARTICULATION PROSTHESIS (SDP): A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete arm involving the hand, forearm, elbow, and upper arm through the shoulder joint.

SHOULDER/ELBOW/WRIST/HAND ORTHOSIS  (SEWHO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, and/or fingers.

SHOULDER ELEVATION: A movement used to control an upper extremity prosthsis to unlock/lock the elbow. Raising the shoulder.

SHOULDER ORTHOSIS (SO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the shoulder.

SHRINKAGE:  Term used to describe when an extremity or residual limb loses muscle mass or volume.

SHRINKER: a sock-like prosthetic component made of elastic material; used to help control edema (swelling) in the residual limb. Usually worn just until the limb size is stabilized and the first prosthetic fitting takes place, though some patients continue to use the shrinker for pain management.

SHUTTLE LOCK:  Locking mechanism used in a prosthesis to keep the liner locked in the socket so the prosthesis does not fall off the extremity.

SILESIAN BELT:  Strap that wraps around the waist to keep or aid suspension in a prosthesis.

SINGLE AXIS FOOT:  foot on a single hinge that allows plantarflexion and dorsiflexion

SINGLE AXIS JOINT:  Orthotic, prosthetic joints featuring one (transverse) axis only.

SINGLE AXIS KNEE:  knee on a single hinge; different knees have different locking mechanisms.

S.O. : Sacroiliac Orthosis.

SOCKET:  the portion of the prosthesis that fits around the residual limb; prosthetic components such as a knee and/or foot are attached here.

SOFT INSERT LINER: Cup shaped form, which fits inside the socket of a BK prosthesis.

SOFT ORTHOSIS: An orthotic device made from fabric or elastic components (e.g., pressure gradient hose, corset, cervical collars and trusses).

SOFT SOCKET: Soft-liner built into a prosthetic socket to provide cushioning or permit muscle function.

SOLID ANKLE FOOT ORTHOSIS: Ankle foot orthosis that keeps the ankle in 90 degrees.

SOUND SIDE LEG: Non-Amputated side/limb.

SPASTICITY:  Spasms.

SPLIT HOOK: terminal device for an upper-extremity prosthesis; two hook-shaped “fingers” are activated through a cable control system to allow prehension (gripping and pinching).

STANCE CONTROL: adjustable brake mechanism for adding stability to a prosthetic knee. Compare to swing phase.

STANCE FLEXION: at heel strike, the knee is slightly flexed; this can be simulated in a prosthetic knee.

STANCE PHASE: the phase in gait where the leg under examination is contacting the ground.

SUCTION: provides suspension by use of negative pressure; socket is worn as a skin-fit (no sock or liner) and air is pushed out of the socket through a one-way valve to achieve suction.

SUPINATION: The movement of the forearm so that the hand rests palm up on a surface.

SUPRACONDYLAR SUSPENSION:  A method to hold socket onto residual limb by “gripping” the socket over the bony prominences of the knee or elbow.

SUSPENSION SYSTEM:  method used to hold the prosthesis on to the body; methods include locking pin, vacuum, suction, suspension sleeve, and TES and waist belt.

SWING PHASE: the phase in gait where the leg under examination is not contacting the ground.

SWITCH CONTROL: Prostheses controlled by using shoulder and arm movements for the actuation and movement of an electric powered prosthetic component.

SYME’S PROSTHESIS (SP): A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations of the foot and ankle just above the ankle joint.

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T

TALIPES EQUINOVARUS: Commonly known as clubfoot. In this disorder the foot has a small, elevated heel; a broad twisted forefoot; and a curved outer border.

TARSUS: the 7 bones that form the hind portion of the foot

TERMINAL DEVICE:   the device attached to the end of an upper extremity prosthesis, such as a hook or hand.

TERMINAL SWING:  The part of walking when the foot is just about to contact the floor.

TES BELT: a suspension system for the above knee prosthesis; made of neoprene or elastic, it attaches to the prosthesis by wrapping around the top portion and attaches to the patient by wrapping a belt around the waist.

T.F. :  Transfemoral.

T.F.- PROSTHESIS: Transfemoral prosthesis.

T.F.- SOCKET: Transfemoral socket.

THORACIC:  Related to the trunk/rib cage.

THORACIC/LUMBOSACRAL ORTHOSIS (TLSO): A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the thoracic and lumbosacral spine.

TIBIA: Bone located on the front of leg below the knee. Also known as shin bone.

TIBIAL CONDYLE:  Top part of the tibia.

TIBIAL CREST:  Front edge of the tibia(shin) bone.

TIBIAL PROGRESSION:  The forward movement of the tibia from heel contact to toe off.

TLSO: Thoracolumbar-Sacral Orthosis; device that encompasses the entire torso.

TOE BOX: a reinforcement used to keep the original contour of the toe and guard the foot against trauma or abrasion

TOTAL CONTACT SOCKET:  socket providing equal surface contact all over.

TOTAL SUCTION SOCKET: This type of socket permits the prosthesis to be held on the residual limb by outside air pressure. May often eliminate straps and belts.

TOTAL SURFACE BEARING SOCKET:  Socket providing equal surface contact all over.

TRANSFEMORAL:  A type of amputation that occurs above the knee.

TRANSFER:  Moving from one position to another (such as from sitting on a bed to sitting in a wheelchair).

TRANSHUMERAL:  A type of amputation that occurs above the elbow.

TRANSRADIAL:  A type of amputation that occurs at the forearm.

TRANSTARSAL AMPUTATION:  a partial foot amputation, through the tarsal (foot) bones that lead to the toes.

TRANSTIBIAL:  A type of amputation that occurs below the knee.

TRAUMATIC AMPUTATION: An amputation, which is the result of an injury.

T.T.:  Transtibial amputation.

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U

UNILATERAL: One-sided.

UPRIGHT:  Vertical side bar used in an orthosis.

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V

VALGUS:  Deformity of the foot resulting in the outward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces away from the median, or midline, of the body.

VALVE:  Device to control release of air in an AK socket to facilitate suction.

VAMP: the forepart of the shoe upper over the metatarsal shafts

VARUS: Deformity of the foot resulting in the inward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces toward the median, or midline, of the body.

VAULTING:  Undesirable gait deviation when walking with an orthosis/prosthesis. Upward motion to walk on toes in order to get limb to avoid contacting ground through swing phase.

VERRUCOSE HYPERPLASIA:  Warty, crusty appearance of distal end of residual limb from lack of total contact in a prosthesis.

VOLUME FLUCTUATION:   Edema in the leg causes swelling or shrinkage within the residual limb.

VOLUME LOSS:  The loss of edema or atrophy of muscle throughout residual limb after an amputation.

VOLUNTARY CLOSING:  refers to upper extremity terminal device. Device is closed by pulling on a control cable, and grasp is proportional to the amount of pull on the cable; the device is open while at rest.

VOLUNTARY OPENING:  refers to upper extremity terminal device. Device is opened by pulling on a control cable and grasp is provided by elastic bands or springs in the device so that the device is always closed at rest.

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W-X-Y-Z

W.H.O.: Wrist-Hand Orthosis; device that encompasses the wrist and hand.

W.O. :  Wrist Orthosis.

WRIST DISARTICULATION PROSTHESIS (WDP): A prosthesis used for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm through the wrist joint.

WRIST/HAND/ORTHOSIS (WHO): An orthosis used for the treatment of disorders of the wrist, hand, and/or fingers below the elbow joint.

WRIST ORTHOSIS (WO): A orthosis used for the treatment of disorders only involving the wrist.

WRIST UNIT:  component at the end of an upper extremity prosthesis allows the terminal device to be repositioned or interchanged with another terminal device.

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