info, Articles & more

We want to emphasize that you are not alone in your recovery. In addition to our staff here at OPC, we encourage you to reach out to other related organizations. We have provided links to some websites below. We have also included a glossary of common prosthetic and orthotic terminology that you may find helpful.


Our Lower Limb Prosthetic Brochure  |  Amputee step-by-step guide


Alternative Prosthetics Services | Custom silicone prosthetic renderings

UNYQ | Custom 3D printed prosthetic covers


American Orthotic Prosthetic Association | More resources

American Orthotic Prosthetic Association | Informational videos 

Wiggle Your Toes | Amputee stories and personal experiences

Children's Electronic Hand Assistance Project (CEHAP) | Myoelectric prosthetics for children

Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) | Adaptive sports programs, clinics & activities

Challenged Athlete Foundation | Fitness & activity opportunities and support

Paralympics | Competition Resources for High-activity athletes

Team USA  |  Paralympic opportunities and support

Limbs for Life | Donations of old prosthetic devices

Team River Runners  |  Kayaking program for Veteran amputees

Adaptive Steep & Deep Camp  |  Experienced adaptive skiers and snowboarders


Glossary of Terms


ABC - American Board of Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics

Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) - A brace that supports and controls motion of the foot at the ankle joint

Alignment - The relationship of the prosthetic foot to the socket and the orthotic device to the patient's limb

CPO - Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist

CP - Certified Prosthetist

Doffing - Taking the orthosis or prosthesis off

Donning - Putting the orthosis or prosthesis on

Dorsiflexion of the Foot - Flexing at the ankle joint so that the upper surfaces of the toes (including the toe nails) move towards the shin bones at the front of the lower-leg, decreasing the angle between the two. Important for toe clearance during swing phase of gait.

Drop Foot - also known as Foot Drop, is the inability to flex one’s foot due to weakness or paralysis of nerves at the ankle

Dystrophy - Pathologic loss of muscle mass

Edema - Swelling of the tissue

Fabrication - Procedure of mechanically creating a device

Flexion Contracture - the inability to fully straighten out a joint, particularly the knee or hip joint

Gait Training - the act of learning how to walk

Hemipelvectomy - A high-level pelvic amputation

Hip Disarticulation - an amputation through the hip joint

Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO) - A brace that supports and controls motion at the knee, ankle, and foot joints

Knee Disarticulation - an amputation through the knee joint

Liner - crafted to protect residual limbs from abrasion and breakdown, usually made of thermoplastic elastomer and silicone

Lumbar Spine - 5 vertebrae just under the thoracic spine that make up the low back region

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - a disease in which the body’s immune system eats away the protective covering of nerves, causing interruption between nerves and the brain and ultimately the degeneration of nerves

Orthosis - Custom-fabricated or custom-fitted brace or support designed to align, correct, or prevent neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunction, disease, injury, or deformity.Partial Foot - an amputation anywhere through the foot, including the toes

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.

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

Partial Foot - an amputation anywhere through the foot, including the toes. Specific name could be Trans-metatarsal, Lisfrank, Chopart, Pirogoff, or Boyd depending on location.

Peripheral Neuropathy - Damage of the nerves furthest from the center of the body, resulting in sensation loss

Pes Planus - a medical term for a flat foot

Phantom Pain - pain that feels like it is coming from a body part that is no longer there

Phantom Sensation - a perception of the body that feels like an amputated limb is still there

Physical Therapist - a healthcare professional who uses exercises and training to help restore function

Piston - the motion that occurs if a prosthesis experiences exaggerated motion between it and your limb

Plantarflexion of the Foot - Extension of the ankle, pointing of the foot and toes away from the leg. This allows for push off during gait.

Ply - a term used to signify the thickness of a prosthetic sock

Post-Surgical Wrap - the dressing applied to your limb after surgery

Prosthesis - an artificial replacement for a missing limb or part of a limb

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. It replaces lost volume in the socket due to shrinking of the residual limb.

Prosthetist - a person who measures, designs, fabricates, fits, and adjusts an artificial limb or prosthesis

Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD) - also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur. The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened. It is commonly linked with the absence or shortening of a leg bone (fibular hemimelia) and the absence of a kneecap.

Pylon - a pipe-like structure used to connect the prosthetic socket to the foot/ankle components

Residual Limb - the portion of the limb remaining after an amputation

Shrinker - a compression sock applied to the residual limb to prepare it for a prosthesis

Sleeve - suspension device designed to fit over any definitive prosthetic socket to create suction

Socket - the part of the prosthesis that is designed to fit around your unique limb size and shape

Symes - term used to describe an amputation at the ankle joint

Thoracic Spine - 12 vertebrae just under the cervical spine that make up the upper and mid back region

Test Socket (Diagnostic Socket) - a socket made of clear plastic that is used to evaluate the fit of the socket design to the residual limb

Transfemoral (Above Knee or AK) - an amputation above the knee, through the femur

Transtibial (Below Knee or BK) - an amputation below the knee, through the tibia and fibula


Visit one of our offices, request an appointment or ask us a question. We'd love to help!