Home Services Education Resource Center Glossary of O&P Terms

Glossary of O&P Terms

  • ABC-Certified Practitioner:

    Practitioners who successfully complete the education, experience and examination requirements prescribed by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics Inc. (ABC), are conferred the titles of Certified Orthotist (CO) and Certified Prosthetist (CP). The title of Certified Prosthetist-Orthotist (CPO) is conferred to practitioners whose responsibility conform to those of both orthotist and prosthetist and who have successfully completed all requirements.

  • Abduction:

    The movement of a limb away from the median, or midline, of the body.

  • Above Elbow Prosthesis (AEP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand, forearm and elbow, above the elbow.

  • Above Knee Prosthesis (AKP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot, ankle, shin and thigh, above the knee joint level.

  • Accreditation:

    A determination by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics Inc. that an eligible organization satisfactorily complies with all applicable standards.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act:

    Federal legislation passed in 1990 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services and accommodations, and telecommunications.

  • Ankle Orthosis (AO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the ankle.

  • Ankle/Foot Orthosis (AFO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the ankle and foot below the knee joint.

  • Anterior:

    The front of the body.

  • Below Elbow Prosthesis (BEP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm below the elbow.

  • Below Knee Prosthesis (BKP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot and ankle below the knee.

  • Bowden Cable Control:

    Prostheses controlled by utilizing gross shoulder and arm movements for the actuation and movement of a mechanical prosthetic component.

  • Cerebral Palsy:

    Any neuromuscular disability caused by lesions in the brain occurring before birth, at birth, or during infancy.

  • Certification:

    A determination by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics Inc. that an eligible organization satisfactorily complies with all applicable patient management standards.

  • Cervical Orthosis (CO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the cervical spine.

  • Cervical/Thoracic Orthosis (CTO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical and/or thoracic spine.

  • Cervical/Thoracic/Lumbosacral Orthosis (CTLSO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical, thoracic and/or lumbosacral spine.

  • Circumduction:

    The circular motion of a limb that is created when the movements of flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction are sequentially performed.

  • Continuing Education:

    Education and experiences beyond initial professional preparation that are relevant to the type of patient care delivered; providing current knowledge relevant to the individual's discipline of practice.

  • Credentialing:

    The verification of an individual's education, training and experience from primary sources.

  • Custom Designed Orthoses:

    Orthoses which are custom made and designed from an anatomical positive model, specific anatomical measurements and/or contour drawings of the affected limb, torso or spine for the purpose of providing support and/or control of complex neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Custom Designed Prosthesis:

    Prostheses are custom made from an anatomical positive model of an individual's residual limb and in accordance with anatomical measurements of the sound limb.

  • Custom Fitted Orthoses:

    Orthoses which are pre-made in specific anatomical sizes and are modified and custom fitted to the effected limb or spine to control moderate or complex neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Diplegia:

    Paralysis of all for extremities, with the lower extremities more severely involved than the upper extremities.

  • Distal:

    A structure that is located farther away from the attached end of a limb.

  • Dorsal Surface:

    The top of the foot and the back of the hand.

  • Dorsiflexion:

    Bending the wrist so the dorsal surface of the hand points toward the forearm; bending the ankle so the foot points upward.

  • Dual Control:

    A split or dual bowden cable and housing system used for actuation of a single component or control action.

  • Edema:

    An excessive accumulation of fluid in the tissue spaces; commonly known as swelling.

  • Elbow Disarticulation Prosthesis (EDP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm through the elbow joint.

  • Elbow Orthosis (EO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the elbow.

  • Elbow/Wrist/Hand Orthosis (EWHO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the elbow, wrist, hand, and/or fingers below the shoulder joint.

  • Electric Powered Component:

    An electric powered elbow, wrist, hand, or hook component utilized to provide controlled positioning for functional use in the design of a prostheses.

  • EMG - Electromyogram:

    The monitoring or assessment of electrical impulses that are released during voluntary or involuntary muscle contractions of muscles.

  • Endoskeletal Prosthesis:

    Prostheses designed with an internal supporting structural components.

  • Eversion:

    The outward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces away from the median, or midline, of the body.

  • Exoskeletal Prostheses:

    Prostheses designed with a rigid external supporting structural shell.

  • Extension:

    The act of straightening a limb at a joint.

  • Fabric or Neoprene Orthoses:

    Orthoses fabricated of cloth fabrics or neoprene as the primary materials in the design of the device.

  • Facility:

    Applies to the professional office which a practitioner uses as a base to provide orthotic and/or prosthetic patient care.

  • Facio-Scapulo-Humeral Muscular Dystrophy:

    The second most common type of muscular dystrophy; it usually occurs in adolescent females and males, and is not as disabling as the childhood type.

  • Flexion:

    The act of bending a limb at a joint, thus forming an angle.

  • Foot Orthosis (FO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the foot below the ankle joint.

  • Genu Recurvatum:

    Condition in which the knee is hyperextended.

  • Genu Valgum:

    Commonly known as knock-knee.

  • Genu Varum:

    Commonly known as bowlegs.

  • Glossary of O&P Terms Home Patient Resources Glos

    Pertains to the nerves and the muscles.

  • Hand Orthosis (HO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the hand and/or fingers below the wrist joint.

  • Hemipelvectomy Prosthesis (HP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete leg involving the foot, ankle, shin, thigh, hip, and pelvis.

  • Hemiplegia:

    Paralysis of one-half of the body, specifically the upper and lower extremities on the same side, and half the trunk of the body.

  • Hip Disarticulation Prosthesis (HDP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete leg involving the foot, ankle, shin and thigh at the hip joint level.

  • Hip Orthosis (HO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the hip.

  • Hip/Knee/Ankle/Foot Orthosis (HKAFO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot.

  • Hybrid Components:

    A blend of mechanical, electric powered, and/or passive-mechanical, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and/or hook components utilized in the design of the prostheses.

  • Hybrid Control:

    Prosthetic control techniques involving any combination of bowden cable, switch and/or myoelectric control methods for the actuation and movement of a mechanical or electric powered prosthesis.

  • Hybrid Design Concepts:

    Prosthetic design concepts, which involve the blending of a variety of, control techniques and components to optimize the function of prosthesis.

  • Hyperextension:

    Extending the extremity beyond anatomical position.

  • Inversion:

    The inward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces toward the median, or midline, of the body.

  • Knee Disarticulation Prosthesis (KDP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot, ankle and shin at the knee joint level.

  • Knee Orthosis (KO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the knee.

  • Knee/Ankle/Foot Orthosis (KAFO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the knee, ankle, and foot below the hip joint.

  • Kyphosis:

    Exaggerated posterior, or backward, curvature in the thoracic region.

  • Lateral (External) Rotation:

    The rotation of a body part away from the median, or midline, of the body. Also referred to as external rotation.

  • Lordosis:

    Exaggerated anterior, or forward, curvature in the lumbar or cervical regions.

  • Lumbosacral Orthosis (LSO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the lumbosacral spine.

  • Mastectomy Prosthesis (MP):

    A prosthesis utilized for complete surgical removal or congenital absence of one or both breasts.

  • Mechanical Components:

    Elbow, hand and/or hook components controlled by using shoulder and arm movements harnessed within a bowden cable control system for the actuation and movement of the components utilized in the design of the prostheses.

  • Medial (Internal) Rotation:

    The rotation of a body part toward the median, or midline, of the body. Also referred to as internal rotation.

  • Median Plane:

    The vertical plane that divides the body into right and left halves.

  • Metal & Leather Orthoses:

    Orthoses fabricated of metal and leather as the primary materials in the design of the device.

  • Molded Plastic & Metal Orthoses:

    Orthoses fabricated of either thermoplastic or thermoset resin plastics and metal joints as the primary materials in the design of the device.

  • Molded Plastic Orthoses:

    Orthoses fabricated of either thermoplastic or thermoset resin plastics as the primary material in design of the device.

  • Monoplegia:

    Paralysis of any one extremity.

  • Muscular Dystrophy:

    A hereditary disease involving progressive destruction of the skeletal and cardiac muscles.

  • Musculoskeletal:

    Pertains to the muscles and skeleton.

  • Myoelectric Control:

    A prosthetic control technique which utilizes skin surface EMG muscle potentials for the actuation and movement of an electric powered prosthetic component.

  • Necrosis:

    Cellular or tissue death within the living body, such as with gangrene.

  • Orthosis:

    Custom designed and/or fitted anatomical devices applied externally on the human body which are intended to provide support and/or control of disorders associated with neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal dysfunctions.

  • Orthotics:

    The practice and science of providing orthotic rehabilitation engineering services related to the assessment, design and development of external assistive, supportive, and/or corrective anatomical devices, referred to as orthoses, for the purpose of restoring specific neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal disorders of the human body.

  • Orthotist:

    An allied health practitioner specifically trained in providing orthotic services at the direction of, and in consultation with, a licensed practicing physician.

  • Palmar (Volar) Flexion:

    Bending the wrist so the palmar surface of the hand points toward the forearm

  • Palmar (Volar) Surface:

    The front, or palm, of the hand. Also referred to as the volar surface.

  • Paralysis:

    Complete loss of the ability to control muscular activity in various locations.

  • Paraplegia:

    Paralysis of one-half of the body, specifically the lower portion of the trunk and both lower extremities.

  • Partial Foot Prosthesis (PFP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the foot and/or toes below the ankle.

  • Partial Hand Prosthesis (PHP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand and/or fingers below the wrist.

  • Partial Mastectomy Prosthesis (PMP):

    For partial surgical removal or congenital absence of the breast.

  • Passive Control:

    Prostheses controlled by using pre-positioning of a manually operated friction, free motion, or locking type joint for the actuation and movement of a mechanical prosthetic component.

  • Passive/Mechanical Components:

    Mechanical shoulder, elbow wrist, hand and/or hook components with friction or positive locking joints controlled by manual positioning and/or static positioning for functional or semi-functional use of the components utilized in the design of the prostheses.

  • Pedorthics:

    The practice and science of providing pedorthic rehabilitation engineering services related to the design, manufacture, modification and fit of shoes and foot orthoses to alleviate foot problems caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.

  • Pedorthist:

    An allied health practitioner specifically trained in providing pedorthic services at the direction of, and in consultation with, a licensed practicing physician.

  • Pes (Talipes) Valgus:

    An acquired deformity where the weight is borne on the inner border of the foot and the sole is turned outward. Also referred to as talipes valgus.

  • Pes (Talipes) Varus:

    A deformity in which the weight is borne on the outer border of the foot and the sole of the foot is turned inward. Also referred to as talipes varus.

  • Pes Calcaneus:

    Present when the ankle is dorsiflexed and the toes are elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the heel.

  • Pes Cavus:

    The exaggerated height of the longitudinal arch of the foot.

  • Pes Equinus:

    Present when the ankle is plantar flexed and the heel is elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the toes.

  • Pes Planus (Planovalgus):

    Commonly known as flatfoot, the foot looks flat and is almost always bent out-ward. Also referred to as planovalgus.

  • Plantar Flexion:

    Bending the ankle so the foot points downward.

  • Plantar Surface:

    The bottom, or sole, of the foot.

  • Position Servo Pull-Switch Control:

    A single linear type pull-switch used for actuation of two opposing functions of an electric powered component allowing proportional control of speed, force and positioning.

  • Posterior

    The back of the body.

  • Posterior:

    The back of the body.

  • Pre-Fabricated Orthosis:

    An Orthosis which is pre-made in general anatomical sizes, ie. small, medium, and large, and are fitted to the effected limb or spine to control mild neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal disorders, or for the purpose of evaluating the need for a custom designed orthosis.

  • Pre-Fabricated Prostheses:

    Prostheses are not pre-made in general anatomical sizes except for a temporary residual limb interface utilized in the design for a preparatory prosthesis.

  • Pronation:

    The movement of the forearm so that the hand rests palm down on a surface.

  • Prosthesis:

    Custom designed and/or fitted anatomical devices applied externally to the human body for the purpose of restoring congenital and/or acquired neuromuscular and musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the human body associated with the complete or partial absence of a limb.

  • Prosthetics:

    The practice and science of providing prosthetic rehabilitation engineering services related to the assessment, design, and development of external assistive, supportive, and/or corrective anatomical devices, referred to as prostheses, for the purpose of restoring neuromuscular and musculoskeletal functions of the human body associated with the congenital and/or acquired absence of a limb.

  • Prosthetist:

    An allied health practitioner specifically trained in providing prosthetic services at the direction of, and in consultation with, a licensed practicing physician.

  • Protraction:

    The forward movement of a body part such as the shoulder.

  • Proximal:

    A structure that is located closer to the attached end of a limb.

  • Pseudohypertrophic Muscular Dystrophy (Duchenne's

    Childhood muscular dystrophy which displays a false athletic-type enlargement created by extensive fatty deposits in the degenerating calf and shoulder; most common type of muscular dystrophy. Also referred to as Duchenne's Disease.

  • Pull-Switch Control:

    Dual micro-switches used for momentary actuation of two functions of an electric powered component with a pulling motion or of multiple functions with multiple switches and components.

  • Push Button Switch Control:

    A single micro-switch used for momentary actuation of a single function of an electric powered component with a pushing motion or of multiple functions with multiple switches and components.

  • Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia):

    Paralysis of all four extremities and the trunk. Also referred to as tetraplegia.

  • Referral Sources:

    Those individuals or organizations qualified to refer a patient for orthotic/prosthetic treatment.

  • Residual Limb:

    The portion of the limb remaining after amputation.

  • Retraction:

    The backward movement of a body part such as the shoulder.

  • Rocker Switch Control:

    Dual micro-switches used for momentary actuation of two functions of an electric powered component with a rocker motion or of multiple functions with multiple switches and components.

  • Rotation:

    A circular or turning movement of a body part, such as the back or head, around its axis.

  • Sacral Orthosis (SO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the sacrum.

  • Scapular-Thoracic Prosthesis (STP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete arm involving the hand, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder through the scapular-thoracic juncture.

  • Scoliosis:

    Lateral, or outward, curvature of the spine in the thoracic and/or lumbar regions.

  • Shoulder Disarticulation Prosthesis (SDP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the complete arm involving the hand, forearm, elbow, and upper arm through the shoulder joint.

  • Shoulder Orthosis (SO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the shoulder.

  • Shoulder/Elbow/Wrist/Hand Orthosis (SEWHO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, and/or fingers.

  • Single Control:

    A single bowden cable and housing system used for actuation of a single component or control action.

  • Single Site - Single Functional Control:

    A single EMG muscle potential site used for proportional or digital actuation of a single function of an electric powered component with a single myoelectric control processor.

  • Single Site - Two Function Control:

    A single EMG muscle potential site used for proportional or digital actuation of two opposing functions of an electric powered component with a dual control myoelectric control processor.

  • Spina Bifida:

    A congenital malformation of the vertebral column. In prenatal life the column fails to develop and close normally, and a portion of the bony spine remains separated in two sections.

  • Supination:

    The movement of the forearm so that the hand rests palm up on a surface.

  • Switch Control:

    Prostheses controlled by using shoulder and arm movements for the actuation and movement of an electric powered prosthetic component.

  • Syme's Prosthesis (SP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations of the foot and ankle just above the ankle joint.

  • Talipes Equinovarus:

    Commonly known as clubfoot. In this disorder the foot has a small, elevated heel; a broad twisted forefoot; and a curved outer border.

  • Thoracic/Lumbosacral Orthosis (TLSO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the thoracic and lumbosacral spine.

  • Triple Control:

    Multiple bowden cable and housing systems used for actuation of more than one component or control action.

  • Triplegia:

    Paralysis of any three extremities.

  • Two Site - Five Function Myoelectric Control:

    he use of dual EMG muscle potential sites used for proportional or digital actuation of five functions of two electric powered hand, elbow and/or wrist components with a multi-functional control multiplex myoelectric processor. One of the five functions is used for mode switching between the two components being controlled.

  • Two Site - Seven Functional Conrtol:

    Dual EMG muscle potential sites used for proportional or digital actuation of seven functions of three electric powered hand, elbow and/or wrist components with a multi-functional control multiplex myoelectric processor. One of the seven functions is used for mode switching between the three components being controlled.

  • Two Site - Two Function Myoelectric Control:

    The use of dual EMG muscle potential sites used for proportional or digital actuation of two opposing functions of an electric powered component with a dual control myoelectric processor.

  • Valgus:

    Deformity of the foot resulting in the outward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces away from the median, or midline, of the body.

  • Varus:

    Deformity of the foot resulting in the inward rotation of the plantar surface, or sole, of the foot so that it faces toward the median, or midline, of the body.

  • Wrist Disarticulation Prosthesis (WDP):

    A prosthesis utilized for acquired amputations or congenital absences of the hand or forearm through the wrist joint.

  • Wrist Orthosis (WO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the wrist.

  • Wrist/Hand Orthosis (WHO):

    A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the wrist, hand, and/or fingers below the elbow joint.