Orthotic and Prosthetic Glossary

This orthotic and prosthetic glossary is provided courtesy of Westcoast Brace & Limb. For more than 40 years, Westcoast has specialized in creating customized, life like artificial limbs and braces for adults and children. Westcoast’s certified practitioners represent expertise in all specialties. It is the only company in the Tampa Bay region offering patients options from the full range of high-tech orthotic and prosthetic devices. With five office locations and four Mobile Units, Westcoast reaches patients wherever they are throughout West Central Florida.

ABC

American Board for Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc.

Abduction

The act of moving the hip (and residual limb) away from the midline of the body.

Adduction

The act of moving the hip (and residual limb) toward the midline of the body.

Alignment

The relationship of the prosthetic foot to the socket.

Amputation

The of a body extremity by surgery or trauma.

Bulbous

Refers to the residual limb being larger in circumference at the end than at the top.

Check Socket

A socket made of clear plastic used to evaluate the fit of the socket design to the residual limb.

CO (Certified Orthotist)

Orthotist who has passed the certification standards of The American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics, and maintains certification through mandatory continuing education program and adherence to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

CP (Certified Prosthetist)

Prosthetist who has passed the certification standards of The American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics, and maintains certification through mandatory continuing education program and adherence to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

CPO (Certified Prosthetist-Orthotist)

Prosthetist who has passed the certification standards of The American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics, and maintains certification through mandatory continuing education program and adherence to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

Cervical

Pertaining to the neck.

Corset

Lumbar brace made from textile material.

C.Ped

Pedorthist who is certified by the Board for Certified Pedorthist.

Custom Fabricated Orthosis

Orthosis, which is individually made for a specific patient. Created using an impression generally by means of plaster or fiber cast, a digital image using computer-aided design-computer aided manufacture (CAD-CAM) systems software, or direct form to patient.

Definitive Prosthesis

The permanent prosthesis (usually provided after a preparatory/temporary) that is designed to last for several years.

Doffing

Taking the orthosis or prosthesis off.

Donning

Putting the orthosis or prosthesis on.

Dystrophy

Pathologic loss of muscle mass.

Edema

Swelling of the tissue.

Endoskeletal Design

A construction technique that uses a pipe or pylon as the support structure. This design allows for the exchange of components and adjustment. An endoskeletal system can be covered with a cosmetic foam that is shaped to match the sound side limb.

Exoskeletal Design

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

Extension

The act of moving the hip (and residual limb) backward or to the rear of the body.

Fabrication

Procedure of mechanically creating a device.

Fitter-Orthotics

Person who is trained and qualified to participate in the fitting and delivery of pre-fabricated orthotic devices and/or soft goods.

Fitter-Mastectomy

Person who is trained and qualified to participate in the fitting and delivery of breast prostheses and mastectomy products and services.

Flexion

The act of moving the hip (and residual limb) forward or to the front of the body.

Functional Level

Degree of function a disabled patient still achieves.

Gait

Walking.

Hemipelvectomy

A high-level pelvic amputation.

Hip Disarticulation

Amputation of the entire leg from the hip.

ISPO

International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Musculo-skeletal System

System of cooperating muscles and bones in biological creatures.

O&P

Orthotics and prosthetics.

O&P Facility

Place where orthotic or prosthetic patient care is provided.

Orthopaedics

Medical specialty dealing with the locomotor system.

Orthopaedist

Surgeon who corrects congenital or functional abnormalities of the bones with surgery, casting, and bracing.

Orthosis

Custom-fabricated or custom-fitted brace or support designed to align, correct, or prevent neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunction, disease, injury, or deformity. Note: this does not include supports or devices carried in stock and sold by drug and other stores, corset shops or surgical supply facilities (e.g., fabric and elastic supports, corsets, arch supports, trusses, elastic hose, canes, crutches, cervical collars, dental appliances).

Orthotics

The science and practice of evaluating, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, adjusting, or servicing an orthosis under a prescription from a licensed physician, chiropractor, or podiatrist to correct or alleviate neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunction, disease, injury, or deformity.

Orthotist

Person who measures, designs, fabricates, fits, or services orthoses as prescribed by a licensed physician, and who assists in the formulation of an orthosis to support or correct disabilities.

Pedorthics

Design, manufacture, fit and/or modification of shoe and foot orthoses to alleviate foot problems caused by disease, congenital condition, overuse or injury.

Pedorthist

Individual trained in the manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear for the purposes of alleviating painful or debilitating conditions and providing assistance for abnormalities or limited actions of the lower limb.

Physical Therapist (PT)

A trained professional who performs and teaches exercises and other physical activities to aid in rehabilitation and maximize physical ability with less pain. PTs teach the amputee exercise techniques, gait training and ways to navigate physical barriers with a prosthesis.

Plaster Impression

The plaster cast that is applied to the residual limb in order to obtain an accurate model during the fabrication process.

Practitioner

Allied health professional who is specifically educated and clinically trained to manage the provision of comprehensive orthotic and prosthetic care (commonly used term to refer to orthotists and prosthetists).

Prefabricated Orthosis

Orthosis, which is manufactured in quantity without a specific patient in mind, which may be trimmed, bent, molded, or otherwise modified for use by a specific patient (i.e., custom fitted). A preformed orthosis is considered prefabricated even if it requires the attachment of straps and/or the addition of a lining and/or other finishing work or is assembled from prefabricated components is considered prefabricated. Any orthosis that does not meet the definition of a custom fabricated orthosis is considered prefabricated. Also referred to as custom-fitted.

Preparatory (Temporary) Prosthesis

An artificial limb that is designed, fabricated and fitted soon after surgery; the prosthesis is worn as the residual limb is healing.

Prosthesis

Artificial medical device that is not surgically implanted which is used to replace a missing limb or appendage such as artificial limbs, hands, fingers, feet or toes. Note: this does not include devices, which do not have an impact on the musculoskeletal functions of the body (e.g., artificial eyes or appliances for the eyes, dental plates, and largely cosmetic devices such as wigs, artificial breasts, eyelashes, ears and noses).

Prosthetics

Science and practice of evaluating, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, adjusting, or servicing prosthesis under an order from a licensed physician.

Prosthetic Components

The parts that make up the artificial limb. For example, foot, ankle, socket, pylon, etc.

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.

Prosthetist

Person who measures, designs, fabricates, fits, or services prosthesis as prescribed by a licensed physician, and who assists in the formulation of the prosthesis prescription for the replacement of external parts of the human body lost due to amputation or congenital deformities or absences.

Pylon

Pipe-like structure used to connect the prosthetic socket to the foot/ankle components.

Residual Limb

Remaining portion of the limb after amputation.

RFO (Registered Fitter-Orthotics)

Fitter who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for orthotic fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

RFM (Registered Fitter-Mastectomy)

Fitter who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for mastectomy fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

RFOM (Registered Fitter-Orthotics Mastectomy)

Fitter who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for both orthotic and mastectomy fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

RTO (Registered Orthotic Technician)

Technician who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for both orthotic and mastectomy fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

RTP (Registered Prosthetic Technician)

Technician who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for both orthotic and mastectomy fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

RTPO (Registered Prosthetic-Orthotic Technician)

Technician who has passed the American Board of Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics standards for both orthotic and mastectomy fitting and completes mandatory continuing education requirements and adheres to the Canons of Ethical Conduct.

Rehabilitation

Process of restoring a person who has been debilitated by a disease or injury to a functional life.

Rehabilitation Team

Group of allied health care professionals that frequently includes physician, surgeon, orthotist/prosthetists, physical and occupational therapist, social worker and counselor who serve the needs of a patient.

Socket

The portion of the prosthesis that is in contact with the residual limb.

Soft Orthosis

Orthotic device made from fabric or elastic components (e.g., pressure gradient hose, corset, cervical collars, trusses).

Sound side leg

Non-amputated limb.

Syme’s amputation

An amputation performed at the ankle joint.

Technician-Orthotic/Prosthetic

Person trained to fabricate, repair and maintain orthoses or prostheses under the supervision of an orthotist/prosthetist.

Thoracic

Related to the trunk/rib cage.

Transfemoral

A type of amputation that occurs above the knee.

Transhumeral

A type of amputation that occurs above the elbow.

Transradial

A type of amputation that occurs at the forearm.

Transtibial

A type of amputation that occurs below the knee.