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Abduct: To move away from the middle of the midline of the body.
Abrasion: Wearing away of the skin through rubbing or friction.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL): Routine activities, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.
Acquired amputation: Surgical Removal of a limb(s) due to complications associated with disease or trauma.
Adduct: To move towards the midline of the body
AEA/AE: Above elbow amputee or “transhumorall” amputee
AKA/AK: Above knee amputee or “transemoral” amputee
Alignment: Position of prosthetic socket in relation to foot and knee.
Amputation: Loss or absence of all or part of a limb.
Assistive / Adaptive Technology (AT): Products, devices, or equipment that assists in activities or mobility and are used to maintain, increase, or improve functional capabilities.
BAK / BAKA: Bilateral above knee amputee.
BBK / BBKA: Bilateral below knee amputee
BE / BEA: Below elbow amputee or “transradial” amputee.
Bilateral: Affecting both sides.
Bilateral amputee: A person missing either both arms or both legs, a double amputee.
Biomechanics: Study of mechanical laws relating to how the human body moves.
BK / BKA: Below knee amputee or “transtibial” amputee.
Bone Scan: Nuclear medicine test. The procedure uses a very small amount of a radioactive substance called a Tracer. The Tracer is injected into the vein. Areas with too much or too little Tracer are a diagnostic tool for the physician to diagnose cancer and other medical problems.
Brachial: Pertaining to the upper arm.
CAT Scan (CT): Computed Tomography, more commonly known as a CT or CAT Scan, is a diagnostic medical test that, like traditional x-rays, produces multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. CAT Scans are also referred to as computerized axial tomography.
Check or Test Socket: A temporary socket made over the plaster model to aid in obtaining proper fit and function of final prosthesis.
C-Leg: The c-leg’s microprocessor sense weight bearing to improve gait and ambulation. It features a swing and stance phase.
Cosmesis: Refers to the appearance of the prosthesis, whether a “naturalistic” treatment is attempted with an outer layer.
Certified Prosthetist (CP): A person who has attained a Certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Contracture: A condition of shortening, restricting, or hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue, often leading to deformity and rigidity of joints.
Counseling: Communications between a therapist and an individual with goals that may include adjusting to changes in one’s life and attaining a higher level of understanding of oneself, dealing with emotions, improving relationships and life situations and appreciating one’s strengths.
DAT: Double (aka bilateral) above knee amputation.
Debridement: The removal of damaged tissue or foreign objects from a wound.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot in the vein, most commonly seen in the calf or thigh.
Desensitation: The process of making the residual limb less sensitive to touch.
Distal: The end of the residual limb.
Disarticulation: Pointing the toe / foot upwards.
Discharge Planning: A discharge planner, usually a social worker/case manager oversees what is needed to safely release a patient from a hospital or rehabilitation facility to home. A complete discharge plan will usually include: nursing care, medications, transportation, follow up visits with attending physicians, etc.
Doffing: Removing the prosthesis, wheelchair, walker, stander, etc.
Dorsiflexion: When applied to the ankle, the ability to bend at the ankle, moving foot upward.
Edema: Swelling. A type of localized swelling that is characterized by an excess of fluid in the body.
Elastic Wrap: Elasticized bandage used to prevent swelling and encourage shrinkage and maturation of residual limb.
Elbow Disarticulation: Amputation of the arm through the elbow.
Electro Diagnostic (EDX): Studies, sometimes called EMG for electromyography, are commonly used technique to test the function of muscles and nerves. These studies are often ordered by the physician to help determine the cause of back or neck pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): The EEG is a recording device that tracks the brain’s electrical activity by placing electrodes on the scalp.
Electromyogram (EMG): An EMG is an electro diagnostic procedure to examine the nerves and muscles. It is a normally a two-part procedure consisting of nerve conductive studies and an electromyogram (EMG), electrical muscle testing.
Fibula: The lateral and smaller of the two bones of the lower leg.
Gait: A manner of walking.
Gait Training: Learning how to walk with your prosthesis.
Hematoma: Blood clot.
Hemipelvectomy (HP): An amputation where approximately half of the pelvis is removed.
Hip Disarticulation (HD): Amputation which removes the leg at the hip joint, leaving he pelvis intact.
Hybrid Prosthesis: A prosthesis that combines several prosthetic options in a single prosthesis.
Ischemia: An inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles.
Knee Disarticulation (KD): Amputation of the leg through the knee.
LAE: Left above elbow amputee.
LAK: Left below knee amputee
Lateral: To the side, away from the mid-line of the body.
LBE: Left below elbow amputee.
LBK: Left below knee amputee.
Liner: Suspension systems used to attach prosthesis to the residual limb. Liners may be made
of silicon, pelite or gel substances.
Lower Extremity Limb Loss (LE): Having to do with the lower part of the body. LE is used to reference amputees with lower limb or leg amputations.
Medial: Toward the mid-line of the body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A non-invasive medical test that physicians use to diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures.
Myelogram: Diagnostic imaging procedure performed by a radiologist. It uses a contrast dye and x-rays or computed tomography (CT) to look for problems in the spinal cord, spinal canal, nerve roots and other tissues.
Neuroma: When a nerve is severed during amputation, the nerve endings form a mass (neuroma). Can be painful.
Nylon Sheath: A sock interface worn close to the skin to add comfort and deter perspiration.
Orthosis: An orthopedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent, or correct deformities or to improve function of movable parts of the body.
Orthotics: The profession of providing devices to support and straighten the body.
Phantom Pain: Pain, which seems to originate in the portion of the limb which was removed. This type of pain also occurs after a spinal cord injury (SCI).
Physiatrist: A doctor of rehabilitation medicine who specializes in the comprehensive management of patients with amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc.
Pistoning: Refers to the residual limb slipping up and down inside the prosthetic socket while walking.
Prosthesis: An artificial part of the body. In the case of amputees, usually and arm or a leg.
Prosthetist: A person involved in the science and art of prosthetics; someone who designs and fits artificial limbs.
Proximal: Nearer to the central portion of the body; opposite of distal.
Posterior: The back side of the body or part in question. I.e. posterior knee or patellar region.
Pylon: A rigid member, usually tubular, between the socket or knee unit and the foot that provides a weight bearing support shaft for an endoskeleton prosthesis.
Quad Socket: A socket designed for an above the knee amputee which has four distinctive sides allowing the muscles to function as much as possible.
Active ROM: The muscles around the joint do the work of moving it.
Passive ROM: The muscles are not working and the person or someone else moves the joint.
RAE: Right above elbow amputee
RAK: Right above knee amputee
Range of Motion (ROM): The amount of movement a limb has in a specific direction at a specific joint such as your hip or knee.
RBE: Right below elbow amputee
RBK: Right below knee amputee.
Residual Limb: The portion of the injured arm or leg remaining after the amputation.
Sensation: Feeling pain, movement or body parts, touch, temperature, etc. Also, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting.
Shoulder Disarticulation (SD): Amputation through the shoulder joint.
Shock Pylon: A shock absorber used to cushion the impact of walking.
Soft Socket: A soft-liner built into a prosthetic socket to provide cushioning or permit muscle function.
Spasticity: Hyperactivity of stretch reflexes (such as a response to tapping the knee with a hammer); may or may not get in the way of functional activities, may be associated with increased tone or tension in muscles, usually in a pattern such as flexion or extension.
Supervision: Refers to the assistance provided when a person requires no physical help but requires a person nearby for safety.
Close: Assistant stands close to a person, ready to give assistance if needed.
Distant: Assistant can see the person and offer verbal assistance but is not close enough to touch him/her.
Suction Socket: A socket designed to provide suspension by means of negative pressure vacuum in a socket; achieved by forcing air out of the socket through a one-way valve when donning and using the prosthesis.
Tibia: The larger of the two bones in your shin.
Transfers: The act of moving from one position to another. Often the physical or occupational therapist will teach a patient to transfer from the bed to a wheelchair or from a wheelchair to a motor vehicle.
Traumatic amputation: An amputation that is a result of a traumatic injury, such as an automobile accident, work place injury, construction accident, etc.
Upper Extremity Limb Loss (UE): Having to do with the upper part of the body. UE is used to reference amputees with arm or shoulder amputations.
Wrist Disarticulation (WD): Amputation through the wrist.