Abduction – Moving a limb away from the midline of the body

Adduction – Moving a limb toward the midline of the body

AFO – Ankle Foot Orthosis

Alignment – The position of the prosthetic socket in relation to the knee and foot

Amputation – The surgical removal of all or part of a limb due to disease or injury

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

AE Amputee – (Historically Above Elbow) Transhumeral amputee

AK Amputee – (Historically Above Knee) Transfemoral amputee

BE Amputee – (Historically Below Elbow) Transradial amputee

BK Amputee – (Historically Below Knee) Transtibial amputee

Ankle disarticulation – Amputation through the ankle joint also called a Symes amputation

Anterior – Toward the front of the body

Atrophy – The reduction in size of a muscle often from disuse

Bilateral – Affecting both sides. For amputees this may mean both legs are amputated

Biomechanics – The scientific study of body movement and forces

Cadence – Walking speed

Callous – Thickening of the skin

Cast – A plaster model of a residual limb from which a socket will be made

Cavus foot – a foot with an unusually high arch

Check socket – A diagnostic socket used to test the fit and alignment of a prosthesis before a permanent socket is made

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

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

Contracture – The shortening of a muscle

Cosmesis – The appearance of a prosthesis

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

Definitive prosthesis – A permanent prosthesis that will be worn on an ongoing basis

Disarticulation – The amputation of a limb through a joint

Distal – Located at a distance away from the point of origin

Doffing – Taking off the prosthesis or orthosis

Donning – Putting on the prosthesis or orthosis

Dorsiflexion – The action of the ankle to pull up the toes

Drop foot – An inability to raise the foot

Dynamic alignment – Adjusting the prosthesis to suit the movement patterns of the client

Dynamic foot – A type of prosthetic foot which stores and releases walking energy

Edema – Swelling of the tissues

Endo – Inside

Exo – Outside

Extension – To straighten a joint

Flaccid – Without muscle tone

Flexion – To bend a joint

Flexion contracture – A permanent muscular contraction due to shortening of a muscle

FO – Foot orthosis

Fusion – to grow together

Gait analysis – Referring to the manner or style of walking and its assessment

Haematoma – A localized haemorrhage

Hemiplegic – Paralysis effecting one side of the body

Hemipelvectomy – Amputation that removes part of the pelvis with the limb

Hip disarticulation – Amputation of the entire lower limb at hip level

HKAFO – Hip Knee Ankle Foot orthosis

HO – Hip orthosis

Hyperextension – Extension at an angle that is greater than normal

Idiopathic – A medical term used to describe the unknown cause of a medical condition

Inferior – Below

Interface – Typically between inner and residual limb

Inflammation – Redness, heat or swelling

KAFO – Knee Ankle Foot orthosis

KB – Knee bearing. A prosthesis where the client bears weight through their knee

KD – (Knee disarticulation) An amputation through the knee joint

KO – Knee orthosis

Kyphosis – Curvature of the thoracic spine

Lateral – Away from the midline of the spine

Lesion – A break in the skin

Ligament – Connective tissue between bones

Liner – A removable material, which goes between the stump and the socket

Lordosis – Spinal curvature often affecting the lumbar spine

Lower extremity – Relating to the leg

LSO – Lumbosacral orthosis supporting the lower back and pelvis

Manipulation – Treatment by manual techniques

Manual locking knee – A prosthetic knee component that can be locked in extension

Medial – Toward the midline of the body

Multiaxial foot – A type of prosthetic foot, which imitates ankle movement in more than one plane, to accommodate uneven surfaces

Myodesis procedure – A technique used when amputating in which the muscles are cut and secured to the bone.

Myoelectric – A method of controlling limb prostheses, that uses biofeedback to control movement

Myoplasty – A technique used when amputating to join opposite muscle groups to each other

Nerve – Tissue capable of transmitting impulses

Neuroma – An overgrowth of nerve tissue

Non-union – When a fractured bone does not heal normally

Occupational therapy – Treatment to assist with the performance of work tasks and daily living

Orthoses – The plural of orthosis

Orthosis – An orthopaedic brace or support

Orthotics – The science of manufacturing and fitting orthoses

Orthotist – A clinician who designs and fits orthoses

Paralysis – The inability to use muscles due to nerve damage

Partial foot – Amputation through any part of the foot leaving the ankle intact

Peripheral vascular disease – Disease of the small blood vessels near the skin’s surface, typically effecting lower limbs

Proximal Femoral Focal deficiency (PFFD) – Shortened femur bone

Phantom pain – A sensation of pain in the part of the amputated limb that is no longer there

Phantom sensation – A sensation of the amputated limb

Physical therapy – Physical exercise to restore function

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

Plantarflexion – To position the foot with the toes pointing down

Posterior – Towards the back of the body

Preprioception – An awareness of the position of ones limb in space

Prosthesis – A device which replaces a missing body part

Prosthetist – A professional specialising in the manufacture and fitting of a prosthesis

PT – Physical Therapist or physical therapy

Quadrilateral – Limb loss involving four limbs

Quadriplegia – Partial or full paralysis of both arms and legs

Radius – One of the two bones situated between the elbow and the hand. The radius joins the hand nearest the thumb.

Residual Limb – Description of the remaining limb from joint to amputation site

Rigid Dressing – A cast or devise applied after amputation, which controls swelling and pain

ROM – Range of mobility in a joint

Scapula – The bone referred to as the shoulder blade

Scoliosis – Lateral curvature of the spine

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

Spasm – An involuntary muscular contraction

Spinal orthosis – Brace fitted 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 stability of the knee

Static Alignment – Alignment of the prosthesis or orthosis while the patient is standing still

Stockinette – A tubular cotton or nylon material sometimes used to don a prosthetic socket

Stump/residual limb – The portion of limb remaining after an amputation

Stump Shrinker – A compression sock worn on a residual limb to reduce the swelling and shape the limb. It is commonly worn during the first post-operative months.

Stump Sock – Wool, cotton or blended materials used as a sock worn over a residual limb to provide a cushion between the skin and the socket interface

Suction Socket – A prosthetic socket that is held on by means of negative pressure. This is achieved by forcing air out of the socket through a one-way valve when donning and using the prosthesis

Suspension – Refers to how the prosthesis is held on

Suspension Sleeve – An elastic tubular sleave that is pulled over the upper part of the prosthesis then rolled up the limb once the prosthesis has been donned

Switch Control – Typically manual use of electric switches to operate an electric elbow, wrist rotator or hand

Symes – (Ankle Disarticulation) Amputation at the level of the ankle. The bulbous end of the limb is often able to bear weight.

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

Temporary Prosthesis – (Interim prosthesis) A prosthesis fitted shortly after amputation so that gait training can begin

Tendon – Tissue that connects muscle to bone

Test Socket – A diagnostic socket, usually transparent, which is used to evaluate the socket fit prior to the fabrication of the final socket

Thoracic Vertebrae – The twelve spinal vertebrae to which the ribs are attached

Tibia – One of two bones that run from the knee to the ankle, otherwise known as the shin

TK – Through the knee

TLSO – Thoracolumbar –Sacral Orthosis. Any orthotic device that encompasses the entire torso

Torso – The chest and abdominal area

Traction – Using external force to pull a body part

Transfemoral (TF) – An amputation through the femur

Transhumeral (TH) – An amputation through the humerus

Transmetasatal (TM) – An amputation through the metatarsal bones

Transpelvic (TP) – An amputation of the entire lower limb plus a portion of the pelvic bone

Transradial (TR) – An amputation through the radius and ulna

Transtibial (TT) – An amputation through the tibia and fibula

Trilateral – Limb loss involving three limbs

Traumatic Amputation – The removal of a limb resulting from accident or injury

Tremor – An involuntary shaking

Ulcer – Lesion or opening of the skin

Ulna – One of the two bones that run between the elbow and the hand, on the same side as the little finger

Unilateral – On one side of the body only

Upper Extremity (UE) – Relating to the entire arm

Valgus – Bent or angled inwards towards the midline of the body

Varus – Bent or angled outward away from the midline of the body

Vascular – Relating to the blood vessels

Vascular Amputation – An amputation due to impaired blood circulation

Voluntary –Closing Device – A type of terminal device that rests in the open position and is closed on an object by a conscious effort to pull on a cable

Voluntary-Opening Device – A type of terminal device that is opened by a conscious effort of pulling on a cable and closed by elastic bands or springs

WD – Wrist disarticulation

WHO – Wrist – Hand Orthosis that encompasses the wrist and hand. It may be a static or dynamic device