Care Manuals

Commonly Used Terminology

Abduction
A movement which brings the limb closer to the midline of the body

Adduction
A movement which positions the limb further away from the body

Alignment
The spatial relationship between the prosthetic socket and the prosthetic foot

Anterior
Towards the front of the body

Check Socket
A temporary socket made of transparent plastic that is used by the prosthetist to diagnose the fit of the socket

Contracture
Tightening of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that prevents normal movement of a joint

Cosmesis 
The outer covering of a prosthesis, aesthetics

Definitive Prosthesis
A replacement for a missing limb after all post-surgical swelling has subsided

Disarticulation
Amputation through a joint (i.e. ankle, knee, hip)

Donning and Doffing
The process of putting on and taking off a prosthesis

Dorsiflexion
Pointing the toe or foot upwards

Edema
Swelling of the tissues

Eversion
To turn outward

Exoskeletal
A prosthesis that is hollow on the inside and has a rigid outer covering

Extension
A position of increasing the joint angle, straightening out

Flexion
A position of decreasing the joint angle, bending

Gait Training
Learning, usually from a physical therapist, how to walk safely and properly with a prosthesis

Immediate Post Operative Prosthesis
An artificial limb that is applied in the operating room after the amputation has occurred

Inversion
To turn inward

Lateral
Away from the midline of the body, to the side

Liners
A sleeve or covering of the residual limb that is used for suspension, cushioning and protection

Medial
Towards the midline of the body

Myodesis
A process during an amputation where the muscles are attached to bone

Myoplasty
A process during an amputation where the muscles are attached to opposing muscles

Neuroma
A nerve ending that is cut during an amputation that can “ball up”. Neuromas are usually extremely sensitive and painful

Occupational Therapist
A person trained in gaining greater independence for patients through rehabilitation and relearning how to perform activities of daily living efficiently and safely

Occupational Therapy
Evaluation and training performed by a licensed occupational therapist which focuses on maximizing the activities of daily living

Pedorthotist
A trained healthcare practitioner who specialized in orthopedic footwear and foot orthoses

Phantom Limb Pain
Pain that appears to come from an area below where the amputation occurred

Phantom Limb Sensation
The feeling that an amputated limb is still attached to the body

Plantar Flexion
Pointing the toe or foot downwards

Physical Therapist
A person trained in the rehabilitation process of patients who have limited or lost functions of mobility

Physical Therapy
Evaluation and training performed by a licensed physical therapist which focuses on exercise, reducing pain and regaining mobility

Posterior
Towards the back of the body

Prosthesis
An artificial body part

Prosthetics
The profession of evaluating, fabricating, fitting and adjusting an artificial limb

Prosthetist
A trained healthcare practitioner who evaluates, fabricates, fits and adjust prosthetic devices

Pylon
A structure that is used to connect the prosthetic socket to the prosthetic ankle/foot complex

Residual Limb
The portion of a limb that remains after amputation

Shrinker
A prosthetic sock created of elastic material that is used in reducing swelling of the residual limb

Socket
The part of the prosthesis that fits around and protects the residual limb; usually made of thermoplastic, laminated, or carbon composite material

Socks
A sock that is fabricated to fit the residual limb. It is used to manage the loss of volume in the residual limb throughout the day

Sound Side Limb
The non-amputated or non-affected limb

Symes
Amputation through the ankle joint that still maintains the fatty heel pad for cushioning

Temporary Prosthesis
A prosthesis that is fabricated soon after amputation. This prosthesis is used until post-surgical swelling has subsided.

Transfemoral
Amputation that occurs at a level above the knee joint but below the hip joint

Transtibial
Amputation that occurs at a level below the knee joint but above the ankle joint

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