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
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
Alternative Prosthetics Services | Custom silicone skin renderings
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
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