AAOP: American Academy of Othotists and Prosthetists. A profession society of ABC board certified practitioners. Founded in 1970.
ABC: American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. A certification board for individuals and facilities providing orthotic and prosthetic services. Established 1948.
Abduction: The act of moving the leg (or residual limb) away from the midline of the body.
Above Elbow (AE) Amputation: An amputation performed above the elbow. Also known as a transhumeral amputation.
Above Knee (AK) Amputation: An amputation performed above the knee. Also known as a transfemoral amputation.
ACA: Amputee Coalition of America. National organization primarily funded by the Center on Disease Control and advertising from the prosthetic industry to provide information and advocacy for amputees.
Adduction: The act of moving the leg (or residual limb) toward the midline of the body.
Adherent scar tissue: Tissue stuck down, usually to the bone.
AFO: Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the lower leg and foot.
Alignment: The relationship of the prosthetic foot to the socket and the midline of the body.
Ambulation: Walking, human gait.
Amputation: Surgical removal of a limb.
Anterior: The front side of the body.
AOPA: American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. A trade association of facilities (no individuals) that provide orthotic and prosthetic services. Founded 1917.
Assistive devices: Devices that assist in performance of mobility, including ramps and bars, changes in furniture heights, environmental control units, and specially designed devices.
Atrophy: Diminishing of size and strength of muscles that are no longer used, as a result of nonuse, amputation, or paralysis.
Below Elbow (BE) Amputation: An amputation performed below the elbow. Also known as a transradial amputation.
Below Knee (BK) Amputation: An amputation performed below the knee. Also known as a transtibial amputation.
Bilateral: Both sides – legs or arms.
Bulbous: Refers to the residual limb being larger in circumference at the bottom than at the top.
Cast: Plaster or fiberglass tape is applied to the limb in order to obtain an accurate model to be used during the fabrication process.
Certified Orthotist (CO): A healthcare professional that evaluates, designs, fabricates, and fits orthoses (braces) and other devices to straighten or support the body and/or the limbs. An orthotist, certified by the American Board for Certification, is an individual who meets a stringent set of educational and experience requirements and successfully completes written, oral, and clinical patient management exams as well as a formal residency.
Certified Pedorthist (C. Ped): A healthcare professional that evaluates, designs, and fabricates devices for the prevention of painful and/or disabling conditions of the foot and ankle. A Certified Pedorthist is a specialist who by education and examination meets the criteria established by the Board for Certification in Pedorthics [BCP].
Certified Prosthetist (CP): A healthcare professional that evaluates designs, fabricates, and fits artificial limbs. A prosthetist, certified by the American Board for Certification, is an individual who meets a stringent set of educational and experience requirements and successfully completes written, oral, and clinical patient management exams as well as a formal residency.
Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist (CPO): A healthcare professional whose responsibilities conform to those of both prosthetist and orthotist and who successfully fulfill all of the requirements in both disciplines.
Check socket/test socket: A clear plastic trial socket made to evaluate comfort and fit prior to final prosthesis fabrication.
Contralateral: Refers to the side opposite of the injured or missing limb.
Cosmetic cover: A custom-shaped foam material that gives a prosthetic device a more natural appearance.
Definitive prosthesis: The final prosthesis which is taken home.
Donning and Doffing: Putting on and taking off of a prosthesis or orthosis.
Dorsiflexion: Pointing the toe/foot upward, toward the body.
Edema: Swelling of the tissue.
Endoskeletal design: A prosthetic design that allows for the exchange of components and adjustment. An endoskeletal system is covered with a cosmetic foam that is shaped to match the sound side limb.
Ertl procedure: Performed during an amputation by creating a bone bridge between the tibia and fibula which allows for increased distal weight bearing.
Exoskeletal design: A prosthetic design using a hard, external laminate shell.
Extension: Straightening at a joint.
Femur: The bone in the thigh region.
Fibula: Small support bone next to the tibia in the lower leg (below the knee).
Flexion: Bending at a joint.
Flexion contracture: Shortening of the muscles at the affected joint. This can be avoided by exercising the limb and keeping it straight.
FO: Foot Orthosis; worn below the ankle, it encompasses any part of the foot. Most commonly arch supports.
Gait: A particular way or manner of walking.
Gait training: The method of learning to walk properly using a lower limb prosthetic device.
Hip Disarticulation (HD): An amputation performed through the hip joint.
HKAFO: Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the hip and leg.
Idiopathic scoliosis: A structural spinal curvature for which cause has not been established.
Ischial Containment Socket: A socket which cups the Ischial bone on the inside and back as well as the bottom. By cupping, or containing this bone inside the socket, the socket tends not to shift laterally (outside) when weight is put on it, making walking more efficient. This style of socket can have a very intimate fit and may take some time to get used to in order for it to become more comfortable.
KAFO: Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the entire leg.
Knee components: Mechanical knee joints designed to create a safe, smooth walking pattern.
Knee Disarticulation (KD): An amputation performed through the knee joint.
KO: Knee orthosis; device which encompasses the knee only.
Kyphosis: Abnormal curvature of the spine, resulting in protuberance of the upper back. Also called hunchback.
Licensed Orthotist (LO): A healthcare professional that is licensed by the State of Ohio to practice orthotics. A licensed orthotist has already gone through the process to become a certified orthotist.
Licensed Prosthetist (LP): A healthcare professional that is licensed by the State of Ohio to practice prosthetics. A licensed prosthetist has already gone through the process to become a certified prosthetist.
Licensed Prosthetist and Orthotist (LPO): A healthcare professional licensed by the State of Ohio whose responsibilities conform to those of both prosthetist and orthotist.
Liners: Used for suspension, comfort, and protection of the residual limb. Can be locking, non-locking, or gel liners.
Lordosis: An abnormal forward curvature of the spine in the lumbar region. Also called hollow back , saddle back, or sway back.
LSO: Lumbo-sacral Orthosis; device that encompasses the lower torso.
Lumbosacral: Pertaining to the lumbar and sacral vertebrae of the back.
Multiaxis Prosthetic Foot: Allows movement and rotation of the foot and is effective for walking on uneven surfaces.
Muscle contracture: Shortening of the muscles at the affected joint. This can be avoided by exercising the limb and keeping it straight. Also known as flexion contracture.
Myodesis: When muscles are anchored to the end of bone.
Myodesis procedure: Performed during an amputation by sewing the opposing bundles of cut muscle tissue to small holes drilled into the end of the bone of the residual limb. Adds to the performance of the muscles since it is a more secure attachment for the muscles to act on and also helps to prevent future atrophy.
Myoelectric prosthesis: This prosthesis which uses electrodes mounted within the socket to receive signals from muscle contraction to control a motor in the terminal device, wrist rotator, or elbow.
Myoplasty: Muscles anchored to opposing muscles.
Myoplasty procedure: Performed during an amputation by connecting the opposing bundles of cut muscle tissue together. It adds good protection to the end of the cut bone and helps prevent future atrophy.
Occupational Therapist (OT): The healthcare professional that teaches a person with a prosthesis or orthosis how to maximize independence and function in daily living.
Orthosis/brace: A plastic or metal device used to straighten and/or support a body part, improve function, or aid recovery. (Plural: orthoses)
Partial foot amputation: Amputation on the front part of the foot. Also known as a transmetatarsal amputation.
Phantom sensation: The “feeling” that the amputated limb is still there. Normal after surgery, this feeling usually decreases over time.
Physical Therapist (PT): The healthcare professional that teaches exercise techniques, gait training, and ways to navigate physical barriers with a prosthesis or orthosis.
Plantar Flexion: To extend or point the foot downward.
Posterior: The back side of the body.
Prosthesis: Artificial limb. (Plural: prostheses)
Prosthetic Sock: A sock knitted to fit the shape of the residual limb. The sock reduces friction and replaces volume lost in the socket due to shrinking of the residual limb.
Pylon: Pipe-like structure used to connect the prosthetic socket to the foot/ankle and knee components.
Removable Rigid Dressing (RRD): A removable cast applied shortly after the amputation in order to control swelling and protect the residual limb.
Residual limb: Remaining portion of the limb after amputation.
RGO: Reciprocating Gait Orthosis; special HKAFO that allows paralyzed persons to walk step over step; generally used with crutches for balance.
Sacrum: The curved triangular bone at the base of the spine, consisting of five fused vertebrae known as sacral vertebrae. The sacrum articulates with the last lumbar vertebra and laterally with the pelvic bones.
Scoliosis: A lateral deviation of the normal vertical line of the spine which, when measured by X-ray, is greater than ten degrees. Scoliosis consists of a lateral curvature of the spine with rotation of the vertebrae within the curve.
Shoulder Disarticulation (SD): An amputation performed through the shoulder joint.
Shrinker: An elastic wrap or compression sock worn on a residual limb to reduce swelling and shape the limb.
Socket: The portion of the prosthesis that is in contact with the residual limb.
Sound side limb: Non-amputated limb.
Spondylitis: An inflammatory disease of the spine.
Spondylolisthesis: An anterior displacement of a vertebra on the adjacent lower vertebra.
Stockinette: Tubular open-ended cotton or nylon material.
Stump: The portion of the limb remaining after amputation. Also called the residual limb
Suction: Provides suspension by means of vacuum in a socket; achieved by forcing air out of the socket through a one-way valve when donning and using the prosthesis.
Suspension: Refers to how the orthosis/prosthesis is held on; may include suction, a strap or belt, a neoprene sleeve or other method.
Terminal devices: Devices attached to the wrist unit of an upper extremity prosthesis that provide some aspect of the function (grasp, release, cosmesis, etc.).
Tibia: The inner and larger of the two bones in the lower leg (below the knee), sometimes called the shinbone.
TLSO: Thoraco-lumbo-sacral orthosis; a type of brace incorporating the entire torso.
Voluntary-closing devices: Upper extremity terminal devices that are closed by forces on a control cable.
Voluntary-opening devices: Upper extremity terminal devices that are opened by body motion and closed by elastic bands or springs
WHO: Wrist-Hand Orthosis; device that encompasses the wrist and hand.