Glossary

Glossary of Terms….
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z






  • A

    Abduction – Moving a limb away from midline of the body

    Achilles tendon
    – Prominent tendon at the back of the leg, behind the ankle

    Adduction
    – Moving a limb toward the midline of the body

    ADL
    – Activities of daily living

    AFO
    – Ankle Foot Orthosis

    AK
    – A prosthesis or amputation above the knee, more commonly, Transfemoral

    Alignment
    – The orientation of a prosthetic socket in relation to foot and knee components in all three planes

    Amputation
    – Removal of all or part of a limb

    Amputee
    – A person who has had all or part of a limb amputated, or was born without a limb or part of a limb

    Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)
    – An orthosis (brace) which is prescribed to support or control the ankle

    Anterior
    – Toward the front of the body

    Atrophy
    -The reduction in the size of a muscle, often from disuse
  • B

    BE -An amputation or prosthesis below the elbow – more commonly, Transradial

    Bench alignment – The basic alignment of a socket and other components which is established before the prosthetist begins to align the prosthesis on the client

    Bilateral
    – “Both sides” – if both legs are amputated, bilateral prostheses would be provided

    Biomechanics – The scientific study of body movement and forces

    BK – An amputation or prosthesis below the knee – more commonly, Transtibial

    BOCO – Orthotist certified by the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC)

    BOCP – Prosthetist certified by the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC)

    BOCPO – Prosthetist/Orthotist certified by the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC)

    Bulbous – A residual limb that is large at the end, near the surgical site


  • C

    Cadence – The speed at which one walks

    Calcaneus – Heel bone

    Callous – Thickening of the skin

    Carpals – The bones between the metacarpals and the wrist

    Cast – modification adding or removing material from the plaster model of a residual limb to improve the fit of the socket that will be made from that plaster model

    Cavus foot – A foot with an unusually high arch

    Cervical vertebrae – The seven vertebrae of the neck

    Check socket
    – A socket, usually transparent, which is used to evaluate the socket fit before the fabrication of the final socket – also called a test socket

    Chopart – A partial foot amputation leaving only the calcaneus and talus intact

    Clavicle – The collar bone

    CO – Orthotist certified by the American Board for Certification (ABC)

    Coccyx – Distal portion of vertebral column; the tail bone

    Compound fracture
    – A bone fracture which has broken through the skin

    Congenital - “Born with”, as with birth deformities

    Congenital limb deficiency – Absence of a limb or part of a limb at the time of birth

    Contracture – A shortening of a muscle

    Cosmesis
    – The appearance of a device

    Cosmetic cover
    – The protective external cover that gives an endoskeletal prosthesis a normal anatomical appearance

    CP – Prosthetist certified by the American Board for Certification (ABC)

    CPO – Prosthetist/Orthotist certified by the American Board for Certification (ABC)

  • D

    Decubitis – ulcer Bed sore; pressure sore

    Definitive prosthesis – A permanent prosthesis which, it is anticipated, the client will use for a long time

    Disarticulation – Amputation through a joint; no bone is cut

    Distal – Away from the trunk – when referring to a limb, the part farthest from the body

    Doffing
    – The act of taking the prosthesis or orthosis off

    Donning – The act of putting the prosthesis or orthosis on

    Dorsiflexion
    – The motion of the ankle joint that raises the foot

    Drop foot
    - An inability to dorsiflex foot (raise the foot)

    Dynamic alignment
    – Adjusting the prosthetic components to suit the movement patterns of the client

  • E

    Edema – Collection of fluids causing swelling of the tissues (also spelled oedema)

    Endoskeletal
    – “Inside skeleton”, a prosthesis has the structural components inside a non-structural cover which provides protection and cosmesis

    Energy storing foot – A prosthetic component designed with a flexible inner structure that flexes slightly during weight bearing and then releases its energy to help the prosthesis move forward

    Ertl Procedure
    – A transtibial amputation technique in which bone is introduced between the tibia and fibula, so that they will be secured together for greater comfort and function

    Exoskeletal
    – “Outside skeleton”, a prosthesis which is supported by a rigid outside shell

    Extension – To straighten a joint

  • F

    Femur Bone – from hip to knee joint

    Fibula – Lateral bone of leg, from knee to ankle

    Flaccid – Relaxed or flabby – without muscle tone

    Flexion – To bend a joint

    Flexion contracture – A permanent muscular contraction due to spasm or fibrosis

    FO – Foot Orthosis, also called “orthotics” or arch supports

    Fracture – Any break in a bone

    Fusion
    – To grow together; as in a joint which grows together and no longer bends

  • G

    Gait – training Learning to walk with a prosthesis or orthosis
  • H

    Hematoma – A localized hemorrhage

    Hemipelvectomy – Amputation above the hip joint in which part of the pelvis is removed

    Hemiplegic
    – Paralysis of one side of the body

    Hemophilia – A medical condition in which bleeding does not stop in the normal manner

    HKAFO – Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot-Orthosis – an orthosis (brace) which supports the patient from the hip to the foot

    HO – Hip Orthosis – a brace which controls motion of the hip

    Humerus Bone
    – from the shoulder to the elbow

    Hyperextension – Angle of extension greater than normal

  • I

    Idiopathic – A medical term meaning “cause unknown” used to describe medical conditions of unknown origin

    iLimb Hand - A prosthetic upper limb device with five individually powered digits. The world’s first fully articulating bionic hand.

    Inferior – Away from the head; below

    Inflammation
    – Redness which may be accompanied by heat and swelling

    Interface – Inner surface of a prosthetic or orthotic device which is in contact with the patient? skin

    Ischial containment
    – A Transfemoral socket design which covers the ischium and contains it

    Ischium or Ischial Tuberosity – The part of the pelvis on which we sit; the “seat bones”

  • K

    KAFO – Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis – an orthosis which provides support to both the knee and ankle

    KB – Knee Bearing; a prosthesis on which the amputee bears weight on the knee

    KD – An amputation through the knee joint, or a prosthesis for such amputation

    Knee Disarticulation
    – An amputation through the knee joint, or a prosthesis for such amputation

    KO – Knee Orthosis – an orthosis which provides support to the knee

    Kyphosis – Spinal curvature in the thoracic spine; humpback


  • L

    Lateral – Away from the midline of the trunk; as in the outside of the leg

    Lesion
    – Break in the skin

    Ligament
    – Connective tissue between bones

    Liner – Soft material used between the residual limb and the prosthetic socket providing protection, comfort, and in some cases suspension

    Lordosis – Spinal curvature – often an exaggerated curve of the lumbar spine

    LSO – Lumbosacral Orthosis – a brace which supports the lower back and pelvis

    Lumbar spine – The five spinal vertebra of the low back – the vertebrae between the pelvis and the ribs

  • M

    Malleolus – A rounded bony prominence on either side of the ankle joint – the plural is malleoli

    Manipulation – Treatment by manual techniques

    Manual locking knee
    – A prosthetic knee component, which can be locked in extension for safety during ambulation – the lock is manually released when the amputee sits

    Mastectomy
    – Amputation of the breast

    Medial – Toward the midline of the trunk, as in the inside of leg

    Metacarpal
    – The five long bones of the hand to which the fingers attach

    Metatarsals – The five bones of the foot to which the toes attach

    Multiaxial foot
    - A prosthetic foot that has motion in more than one plane

    Muscle – Tissue which has ability to contract when stimulated

    Myodesis procedure
    – An amputation technique in which the cut muscles are secured to the bone so that they will perform better with less atrophy

    Myoelectric prosthesis – An upper limb prosthesis which uses electrodes within the socket to convert muscular contraction of the residual limb into signals which activate the elbow, wrist, or terminal device

  • N

    Nerve – Tissue capable of transmitting impulses

    Neuroma – An overgrowth of nerve tissue

    Non-union – A fractured bone which does not heal normally

  • O

    Occipital - Relating to the back of the head

    Occupational therapy
    – Treatment to improve tasks of work or daily living

    Orthoses
    – The plural of orthosis (orthopedic brace)

    Orthosis – An orthopedic brace or appliance

    Orthotics – The art and science of fitting orthoses (orthopedic braces). Also a term for Foot Orthoses or arch supports

    Orthotist – A professional who designs, supplies, and fits orthotic braces

    OT – Occupational Therapist

  • P

    Paralysis – Inability to use muscles because of nerve damage

    Paraplegia – Partial or complete paralysis of both legs

    Paraplegic – One who has paraplegia; paralyzed from the waist down

    Patella – The kneecap

    Pathomechanics – The scientific study of faulty body movement

    Peripheral vascular disease – Disease of the small blood vessels near the skin surface

    Pes Planus – A foot with a low or flat arch

    Phalanges – Fingers or toes

    Phantom pain
    - An abnormal painful sensation in that part of an amputated limb that is no longer present

    Phantom sensation - Sensory awareness of the part of an amputated limb that is no longer present – a normal and non-painful condition

    Physical therapy – Exercise and training to restore function

    Pistoning – When the residual limb moves slightly into and out of the socket

    Plantar
    – The bottom surface of the foot – the sole

    PMR – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    Polycentric knee – A prosthetic knee component with more than one axis of rotation to increase knee stability. It is helpful for fitting amputees with long residual limbs because it improves cosmesis by minimizing the length of the thigh section

    Posterior – Toward the back of the body

    Post-operative prosthesis – A prosthesis which is fitted to the patient immediately following surgery

    Prehension – To hold or grasp

    Prognosis – Prediction of the medical outcome

    Prostheses
    – The plural of prosthesis (artificial limb)

    Prosthesis – A device which replaces a missing body part; an artificial limb

    Prosthetist – A professional specializing in designing, fitting and fabricating artificial limbs

    PT – Physical therapist, or physical therapy

    PTB socket Patella Tendon Bearing Socke
    t – a type of socket for a below-knee amputee, which is designed to bear weight on the tendon just below the patella

    PTS socket Patella Tendon Super Condylar Socket – a type of socket for a below-knee amputees with trim lines, which provide suspension by enclosing the bones of the knee

  • Q

    Quadriplegia Partial or complete paralysis of both the arms and legs
  • R

    Radius – One of the two bones between the elbow and hand; the radius joins the hand nearest the thumb

    Residual limb – That part of the limb which remains after amputation – the stump
    RGO Reciprocating Gait Orthosis – an HKAFO or KAFO that links the legs so that a paralyzed person is able to step forward to walk – crutches are commonly required for balance

    Rigid dressing- A cast or device applied after amputation, which controls swelling and reduces pain

    ROM – Range of motion – the extent of the ability to move a joint

  • S

    SACH foot Solid Ankle Cushion Heel - a prosthetic foot that has no mechanical axis and simulates normal foot function by compression of the heel and flexibility of the toe

    Scapula – The bone referred to as the shoulder blade

    Scoliosis – Lateral curvature of the spine; S shaped spine

    Silesian bandage or belt
    – A flexible belt which can be used to assist the suspension of a transfemoral prosthesis – “bandage” is used in the older sense of the word, meaning “something that binds”

    Single axis foot
    – A prosthetic foot with only one pivot point which allows movement in one plane

    Socket – The part of the prosthesis that encloses the residual limb

    Spasm
    – Involuntary muscle contraction
    Spastic – Subject to involuntary muscular contractions or spasms

    Spinal orthosis
    – Brace applied to all or part of the trunk, head and neck, and their intermediate joints

    Stance control knee
    – A prosthetic knee component with a mechanism which increases the safety and stability of the knee

    Static alignment
    – Alignment of the prosthesis or orthosis while the patient is standing but not walking

    Stockinette
    – A tubular cotton or nylon fabric which is sometimes used to don a prosthetic socket

    Stroke – Rupturing of a blood vessel in the brain

    Stump shrinker – A compressive wrapping or sock applied to the residual limb to prevent swelling and shape the limb, commonly used during the first post-operative months

    Stump sock – A sock worn over the residual limb to cushion the limb and provide a snug fit between limb and socket

    Suction socket - A type of prosthetic socket that is held on the limb with negative pressure

    Suspension – To hold up or suspend; used to describe the method of holding a prosthesis in place

    Suspension sleeve
    – A flexible component that suspends a transtibial prosthesis – it is an elastic tubular sleeve that is pulled over the upper part of the prosthesis and then rolled up on the thigh once the prosthesis has been donned

    Syme – An ankle disarticulation amputation procedure named for the physician who invented it – the bulbous end of the limb is often able to bear weight. Also, a prosthesis for a Syme amputee

  • T

    Tarsals – The bones between the metatarsals and the bones of the ankle joint and heel

    Temporary prosthesis – A prosthesis fitted soon after amputation so that gait training can begin

    Terminal device – Term used to describe portion of upper extremity prosthesis which replaces the hand – a prosthetic hand or hook

    Test socket
    – A socket, usually transparent, which is used to evaluate the socket fit before the fabrication of the final socket – also called a check socket

    Thermoplastic – A type of plastic that can be heated and formed

    Thoracic vertebra
    – The 12 spinal vertebra to which ribs are attached

    Tibia – One of two bones from knee to ankle joint – the shin bone

    TLSO – Thoracolumbar-Sacral Orthosis – a brace which supports the spine from pelvis to armpits

    Torso – The chest and abdominal area – the trunk

    Total contact
    - A socket design that provides contact with all parts of the residual limb

    Traction – External force used to pull a body member

    Transfemoral (TF)
    – amputation Amputation above the knee

    Transhumeral (TH) – amputation Amputation above the elbow

    Transmetasatal (TM) – amputation A partial foot amputation through the metatarsal bones

    Transradial (TR) – amputation Amputation below the elbow

    Transtibial (TT) – amputation Amputation below the knee

    Traumatic amputation – The removal of a limb as a result of an accident or injury

    Tremor – Involuntary shaking

  • U

    Ulcer – Lesion or opening of the skin

    Ulna – One of two bones between the elbow and hand – the ulna joins the hand nearest the little finger

    Umbilicus – Navel

    Unilateral – One side only; used to describe an amputee missing one extremity

    Upper extremity
    – Same as upper limb – having to do with the arms

  • V

    Valgus – Bent or angled inward; at the knee, knock-knee

    Varus - Bent or angled outward; at the knee, bowlegged

    Vascular – Relating to or containing blood vessels

    Vascular amputation
    – Amputation surgery performed as a result of impaired blood circulation

  • W

    WHO Wrist-Hand Orthosis – an orthosis which supports the wrist and hand

    Wrist unit – An upper limb prosthetic component that allows the amputee to position the terminal device for optimum function