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Glossary of Medical Terms

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - V - W



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.
Adduction
The movement of a limb toward the median, or midline, of the body.
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/Foot Orthosis (AFO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the ankle and foot below the knee joint.
Ankle Orthosis (AO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the ankle.
Anterior
The front of the body.

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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.

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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/Lumbosacral Orthosis (CTLSO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical, thoracic and/or lumbosacral spine.
Cervical/Thoracic Orthosis (CTO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders involving the cervical and/or thoracic 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Genu Recurvatum
Condition in which the knee is hyperextended.
Genu Valgum
Commonly known as knock-knee.
Genu Varum
Commonly known as bowlegs.

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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/Knee/Ankle/Foot Orthosis (HKAFO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot.
Hip Orthosis (HO)
A orthosis utilized for the treatment of disorders only involving the hip.
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.

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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.