Glossary

Welcome to OrtoPed's P&O glossary. We hope this page will prove a valuable tool for you and your patients. This glossary defines words commonly used by P&O professionals; however, it is not intended as a complete dictionary of P&O terms. Please feel free to reach us with your questions or comments at 1 (800) 363-8726 or by e-mailing us at info@ortoped.ca

 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X

 

A

Acetabulum

Concave socket in pelvis, receiving hip joint

Acquired Amputation

Limbs that were surgically removed due to disease or trauma

Adaptive Devices

Devices for specific functions (can be attachment to tools, sporting equipment, utensils, etc.) - (bought or custom made)

Abduct

To move (a limb) away from the midline of the body

Abducted Gait

Walking with legs spread away from the midline of the body

Adduct

To move (a limb) toward the midline of the body

A-P

Anterior - Posterior, from front to back

ADL's

Aids to Daily Living

AE

Above-Elbow

AFO's

Ankle-Foot Orthoses - braces (Short Leg Brace)

AK

Above-Knee

Alignment

A triplanar positioning of the prosthetic socket in relation to foot and knee

Ambulation

Walking, human gait

Amputee

A person who has lost all or part of a limb or was born without a limb

Amelia, Phocomelia

A medical term for congenital absence of a limb or partial absence of limbs

Amputation

The loss or absence of all or part of a limb due to infection, injury, disease, trauma

Amputation abbreviations:

AE Above-Elbow

AK Above-Knee

BE Below-Elbow

BK Below-Knee

HC Hemi-Corporectomy

HD Hip-Disarticulation

HP Hemi-Pelvectomy

KD Knee-Disarticulation

SD Shoulder-Disarticulation

TK Through Knee

WD Wrist-Disarticulation

Anti-microbial

Ability to eliminate bacteria, therefore controlling odors, dermatitis and rashes

Arthritis

Acute or chronic joint inflammation

ASIS/A.S.I.S

Anterior superior iliac spine

Assistive / Adaptive Equipment

Devices that assist in function, performance, daily living or mobility, specially designed devices

Ataxia

A form of CP, inability to perform coordinated muscular movements

Atrophy

Diminishing of size and strength of muscles that are no longer used, as a result of nonuse, amputation, or paralysis

Axillary Crutch

Type of crutch that fits up under the armpit of the user. Sometimes called the "underarm" crutch

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B

BE

Prosthesis after amputation below the elbow

Biceps

Muscle on upper arm that bends the elbow

Bilateral Amputee

Refers to an amputee that has lost either two upper or lower limbs or part of

Biomechanics

The study of the body ambulating, without deformities. Science combining biology and mechanics

Bi-Scapular Abduction

Prosthetic motion of bringing both shoulders forward simultaneously

BK

Prosthesis after amputation below the knee

Body Jacket

American term for symmetrical spinal orthoses

Bone Spur

Protrusion of bone

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C

CAD CAM

Computer aided design, Computer aided manufacture

Calcaneum

Heel bone

CAPP Cookie Cruncher

Can be body-powered or a manual device named for the Child Amputee Prosthetics Project at UCLA, its purpose was designed to promote gross motor functioning and early grasp

Cadence

Walking speed

Canadian Crutch

Type of crutch that has metal or plastic sleeves that wrap around the forearm of the user. Also called "forearm" crutch

Cavus Foot

Foot with a very high arch

Cerebral

Related to the cerebrum, brain

Cerebral Palsy

Loss of neural muscle control by congenital brain damage

Check Socket / Test Socket

A trial socket, usually transparent, made to evaluate fit and comfort of a prosthesis or orthosis prior to final design

Chopart Amputation

Tarsal (Partial) foot amputation at the chopart joint line

CMT - Hypertrophic

Peripheral nerve fibers are thickened, myelin sheath breaks down

CMT - Neuronal

The axon or central part of the nerve cell deteriorates

Condyle

Massive rounded end of bone, basis for forming a joint surface

Congenital

From birth

Congenital Amputee

Refers to a defect from birth, "the baby was born without a hand"

Congenital Deficiency

A condition present at birth, when all or part of a limb fails to develop normally

Control Cable

Stainless Steel cable used to move and to operate a body-powered prostheses. Can also lock and unlock mechanical joints

Coolmax

DuPont manufactured and trademarked yarn. Helps to wick moisture away from the skin and allows material breathability

Cosmesis

Appearance

Cosmetic Cover

Can be a foam or rubber material, a hard laminate, sprayed or rolled on protective skin, or prosthetic nylon stocking that gives a prosthetic device a more natural appearance

CVA

Cerebral Vascular Accident, stroke

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D

Delrin

Plastic Material

Deformity

Abnormal alignment

Definitive

The finished prosthesis

Diabetes Mellitus

Carbohydrate metabolism disorder

Diplegia

Paralysis affecting both sides of the body

Disarticulation

Limb is amputated through the joint

Distal

Situated away from the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone; terminal. Compare proximal.

Doffing

Taking the prosthesis off

Donning

Putting the prosthesis on

Dorsiflexion

To flex the foot upward, lifting forefoot

Durometer

Hardness, stiffness

Dystrophy

Pathologic loss of muscle mass

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E

Edema

Swelling of the tissues

Endo

The rigid support structure is on the inside

Endoskeletal

Pylon prosthetic components covered by external cover

Energy-Storing Feet

Prosthetic feet that adds life to the step, a material is usually deflected upon weight bearing and the foot springs back designed to help move the prosthesis forward with less energy

Epicondylitis

Inflammation of the elbow (tennis)

Equinovalgus

Combined foot drop and valgus (tilt angle away from midline) deformity

Equinovarus

Combined foot drop and varus (tilt angle towards midline) deformity

E.V.A.

Ethylene Vinyle Acetate

Eversion

Turning foot outward and up

Exoskeletal

The rigid support structure is on the outside

Extension Assist

Spring, strap or some means of assisting joint extension

Extension Stop

Bumper or other means of extension limitation

Extensor

Muscle causing extension

Extremity

Limb

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F

Femur

The bone in the thigh region

Fibula

Small support bone next to the tibia in the calf

Flat Foot

Foot deformity, loss of medial longitudinal arch height

Flexion

To bend a joint

FO

Foot orthosis

Forequarter

Amputation of shoulder girdle

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G

Gait

Ambulating, walking

Gait Training

Learning to walk

Galvanization

Surface protection of metals

Gel

Man made or natural material with consistency similar to gelatine

Genu

Knee

Geriatric

Elderly, old

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H

Hallux

Big toe

Hand / Mitt

Either passive or active (terminal) device used to replace the hand

Hard Socket

A prosthetic socket made of rigid materials

HC

Hemi-Corporectomy

HD

Hip-Disarticulation

Heel Spur

Bony protrusion at the distal-medial aspect of calcaneous

Hemi-Corporectomy

Amputation of both hips, and lower spine, usually the lumbar spine

Hemi-Pelvectomy

Amputation surgery removing one half of the pelvis including the extremity on that side (usually for cancer)

Hindfoot

Posterior 1/3 of foot (heel and tarus)

Hip Spica

Wrap applied to pelvis and leg

HKAFO

Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis; device that encompasses the joints described

HO

Hip Orthosis

HP

Hemi-Pelvectomy

Humerus

Bone in upper arm

Hypotonia

Loss of muscle tone, and consequently muscles may be stretched beyond their normal limits

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I

Idiopathic

Latin word for "I don't know," unknown cause

Ilium

The medial or lateral bone in the pelvis

Immediate Post-Surgical Fitting (IPSF)

Application of a protective cast/rigid dressing immediately after surgery

Initial Prosthesis

First one

Interface

Inner surface of socket, Contact surface between body part and O&P device

Inversion

Turning foot inward and down

Ischial

Related to the seat bone

Ischium

Seat bone

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J

Jig

Alignment transfer and clamping tool

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K

KAFO

Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis - device that encompasses all the joints described which would include the entire leg

Keel

Inner component of prosthetic feet

KD

Knee-Disarticulation

Krukenburg Procedure

Surgical splitting of the lower forearm longitudinally into two parts to improve function by providing a sensate wedge grip. They are more common in Europe, and used for long bilateral transtibial amputees that are blind

KO

Knee Orthosis

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L

Laminate

Lay-up of resins and composite reinforcements

Ligaments

Tissue that connects bone to bone

Liner

Unique interface rolled over the stump used for skin protection, comfort and suspension

Lordosis

Spinal lumbar curve, when viewed from posterior concave shaped

Lower Extremity

Lower limb

LSO

Lumbo Sacral Orthosis; device that encompasses the lumbosacral region. It can be soft or hard or combination of both

Lumbar Spine

Five vertebra in the lower back

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M

Manual Locking Knee

Device that automatically locks the knee when brought in complete extension to prevent buckling and falls

Metacarpals

Bones in the middle of the hand

Metatarsals

Bones in the middle of the foot

Mid Stance

During gait cycle middle of stance phase

Mid Swing

During gait cycle middle of swing phase

Muscular Atrophy

Wasting of the muscles due to diseased or injured nerves

Muscular Dystrophy

Wasting of the muscle due to a defect in the muscle itself

Myelin Sheath

Fatty outer covering the surrounds the nerve

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 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

Is a electrically controlled prosthesis that uses electrodes mounted within the socket to receive electrical signals from the muscle contraction to control a motor in the terminal device, wrist rotator or elbow, there are different types

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 to prevent future atrophy

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N

Neuromas

Ball or network of exposed nerve underlying the skin

Night Splint

Orthosis allowing postural correction during sleep

Nudge Control

A prosthetic mechanical switch control that operates one or more joints of the prosthesis

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O

Occupational Therapy / OT

Evaluation and training to maximize independence and function in daily living, specializing in upper extremity

Orthotics

The profession of Orthopedic Appliances, braces

Orthosis / Brace

An orthopedic appliance or device used to prevent deformities,contractures, straighten, protect and/or support a body part. May also improve function, or aid recovery

Orthoses

The plural of orthosis

Orthotist

Practitioner of Orthotics, ABC certified preferred; A patient-care practitioner who evaluates, designs, fabricates and fits orthoses (braces) and other devices to straighten or support the body and/or the limbs

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P

Palsy

A condition marked by loss of power to feel or to control movement in the effected part of the body

Patella

Knee cap

Pathomechanics

Is biomechanics gone bad, with deformity

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Disease of the blood vessels

Peroneal Muscle

Located on the outside of the leg below the knee to the ankle. These muscles assist to raise the foot during walking

Pes Planus

Foot with little or no arch, collapse of arch

Phantom Limb

Sensing the presence of the limb that has been amputated

Phantom Pain

Feeling pain in the part of extremity that has been amputated

Phocomelias

Refers to a missing segment or under developed, "the baby was born with out a femur" - usually presents itself as very small, deformed versions of normal limbs

Physical Therapy / PT

The rehab specialist, evaluation and treatment of disease, injury or disability through the use of therapeutic exercises and modalities to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion and decrease pain

Pistoning

When a liner stretches so that the stump elongates

Plantarflexion

To extend or point the foot downward

Pneumatic / Hydraulic

Air filled units provides controlled changes in the speed of walking

Polycentric

Multiple-axis joint

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

Prehension

To hold, grasp or pinch

Preparatory prosthesis

A short-term prosthesis, usually 2-6 months, generally without cosmetic finishing, which is provided in the early phase of fitting to expedite prosthetic wear and use; it also aids in the evaluation of amputee adjustment and component selection

Prosthetics

The profession of Artificial Limbs

Prosthesis

An artificial replacement for a body part that is missing

Prostheses

Plural of prosthesis

Prosthetist

Practitioner of Prosthetics - A patient-care practitioner who evaluates, designs, fabricates and fits artificial limbs

Proximal

Situated toward the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone. Compare distal

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Q

Quadriplegia

Partial or complete paralysis of all four extremities

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R

Range of Motion

(ROM) limits of a joint

Residual Limb

The portion of limb remaining after amputation, sometimes referred to as a stump

RGO

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

Rigid Dressing

See Post-Op Rigid Dressing

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S

SACH Foot

"Solid Ankle, Cushion Heel" prosthetic foot , Prosthetic foot without any mechanical joints providing a heel wedge cushion

Sacrum

Connector to iliac bones of the pelvis, basis of vertebral column

Sagittal Plane

Reference plane seen from the side (not frontal, not horizontal)

Scapular Abduction

Pushing one shoulder forward in prosthetic motion control

Scoliosis

Spinal disease, vertebral rotation, column rotation

SD

Shoulder-Disarticulation

Shank

Lower leg

Sheath

Very thin stump sock made of nylon

Shear

Motion/force in soft tissue trapped between two harder surfaces

Silesian Belt or Bondage

Suspension belt used in lower extremity prosthetics

Single Axis

A prosthetic knee that rotates around a single pivot

Single Axis Foot

Prosthetic foot with only plantar-dorsiflexion axis

Socket

Portion of prosthesis that the residual limb/stump fits into and to which prosthetic components are attached

Soft Inner Liner

Can be made of closed cell foam, silicone, gel, leather, other materials for cushioning the residual limb. They are used between the socket and the residual limb

Soft Socket

Inner socket liner of foam, rubber, leather, other material for cushioning the residual limb

Spina Bifida

Paralysis caused by congenital defect of spinal column

Spinal Column

Vertebral column, backbone

Splay Foot

Foot deformity, flattening of anterior transverse arch

Split Hooks

A type of terminal device with two hook-shaped fingers operated through the action of harness and cable systems. Many different varieties designed for different functions

Stance

Act of standing

Stance Control

A braking or locking mechanism within a prosthetic knee unit to add stability and to prevent buckling of the knee when weight is transferred onto the prosthesis

Stance Phase

Phase of gait cycle where leg is in ground contact

Stockinette

Tubular open-ended cotton or nylon material that comes in different sizes. It is used for casting, interface, and fabrication processes

Stump / Residual Limb

The portion of limb remaining after amputation

Stump Shrinker

A compression sock worn on a residual limb to reduce swelling and shape the limb. An elastic wrap (Ace) when wrapped properly makes the best shrinker

Stump Sock

Wool, cotton, or blended materials used as a sock worn over residual limb to provide a cushion between the skin and socket interface. They come in different sizes, shapes and thicknesses called plys

Subtalar Joint

Joint between talus and calcaneous allowing inversion/eversion of foot

Suction

A system that provides suspension by means of negative pressure or a vacuum in a socket. This is achieved by forcing air out of the socket through a one-way valve when donning and using the prosthesis

Suction Socket

A socket on an artificial leg that is held to the residual limb by the suction of negative pressure maintained within the socket

Suspension

Usually refers to how the prosthesis is held on and sometimes the orthosis; which may include suction, a strap or belt, a wedge, a silicone or neoprene sleeve or other method

Suspension Sleeve

Type of prosthetic suspension, to hold on a prosthesis, made of different materials

Switch Control

A manual use of electric switches to control and operate an electric elbow, wrist rotator or terminal device (hand)

Symes

Type of amputation at the level of the ankle. It is a type of ankle disarticulation where the maleoli are reduced to make a less bulbous distal end. Most often done on a two stage operation

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T

Tendon

Tissue which connects muscles to bones

Tennis Elbow

Inflammation of the elbow (Epicondylitis)

Terminal Devices

Hand, hook, or special attachment to be attached to the wrist unit of an upper extremity prosthesis. Many different varieties are designed for different functions. (grasp, release, cosmesis, etc.)

Thermoplast

Plastic material reshapeable with heat applied

Thermoplastic

Heat moldable plastic material

Thermosetting

Cure under heat dissipation

Thorax

Trunk, rib cage

Thoracic

Related to trunk, rib cage

Tibia

Shin bone

Tibial Condyle

Proximal end of tibia

Tibial Crest

Anterior edge of tibia

TK

Through knee

TLSO

ThoracoLumbar-Sacral Orthosis, any orthotic device that encompasses the entire torso. A bodyjacket is considered a TLSO

Toe Box

Space provided for the toes in a shoe

Total Contact

Total contact between the limb and the socket at all points

Transfemoral (TF)

Amputation above the knees, through the thigh bone

Transhumeral

Amputation above the elbow

Transradial

Amputation below the elbow

Transtibial (TT)

Amputation below the knee

Traumatic Amputation

A spontaneous removal of a limb

Transverse Plane

Horizontal reference plane, reference plane as seen from the top

Trochanter

Bony protrusion lateral-proximally at the femur, muscle insertion point

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U

Upper Extremity

Upper limb

Upright

Vertical side bar

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V

Valgus

Tilt/angle away from midline of body

Varus

Tilt/angle toward midline of body

Vascular Amputation

Amputation surgery performed due to impaired circulation of blood through the blood vessels of the limb

Visco-Elastic

Describes a material or a condition where strain resulting from stress is partly elastic and partly viscous

Volume Fluctuation

Swelling and shrinking

Voluntary-Closing Devices

A type of terminal device that when relaxed is in the open position and is closed on an object by a conscious effort by pulling on the control cable

Voluntary Control

Ability of user to control mechanical parts of the prosthesis

Voluntary-Opening Devices

A type of terminal device that is opened by a conscious effort by pulling on the control cable with body motion and closed by elastic bands

Vulcanization

Curing rubber in a heat process

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W

WD

Wrist-Disarticulation

Weight Bearing

Accepting weight

WHO

Wrist-Hand Orthosis is a device that encompasses the wrist and hand. They can be static or dynamic devices

Wicking

The ability to move moisture away from the skin, to keep the skin dry and comfortable

Wrist Unit

Attaches terminal devices onto the prosthesis. There are different types used in upper extremity prosthetics. Some allows quick interchanging or repositioning of terminal device

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X

X-Static

Yarn manufactured and trademarked by Noble Fibers, made of 99.9% pure silver. Silver is a natural anti-microbial, therefore helping to control odors, dermatitis and rashes

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