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Prosthetic Care Glossary

Accredited facility - a facility that has completed a certification of competency or credibility by a recognized accreditation board, such as The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC). Since 1948, ABC has been accrediting facilities in the profession. ABC accredited facilities must comply with a specific set of requirements and adhere to stringent patient care standards.

ADL's - Activities of Daily Living are the most basic activities and functions performed on a daily basis that are usually done without assistance.

Anaplastology - the art and science of restoring a malformed or absent part of the human body through artificial means.

Congenital limb deficiencies - An absence of part or all of a limb occurring before a child is born. Intervention, either surgical or prosthetic, is not always necessary, though some congenital limb deficiencies may require additional surgery to facilitate prosthetic fitting.

Cosmesis - the aesthetic characteristics of a prosthesis or replacement for a portion of the body. The acceptability of the appearance of a prosthesis is very individualized. Some wearers want the prosthesis to look as natural as possible. Others may prefer bright colors or patterns, uncovered sports prostheses or a more robotic appearance. Possibilities are limited only by the imagination.

Durable Medical Equipment - Assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, canes, etc. that help a patient with their rehabilitative needs.

O&P - orthotics and prosthetics

Occupational Therapist - an individual who uses productive or creative activities to treat or rehabilitate physically or emotionally disabled people.

Physical Therapist - an individual who helps patients improve their ability to accomplish everyday tasks or activities of daily living associated with a maximum level of safe independence.

Post-operative prosthesis - a device applied before wound closure that protects the suture site and allows limited weight bearing and gait training.

Preparatory prosthesis - an unfinished, functional replacement for an amputated limb, fitted and aligned to accelerate the rehabilitation process, control edema and prepare the residual limb for the external forces associated with wearing a prosthesis on a day to day basis.

Prosthesis - the addition to the human body of some artificial part, to replace one that is missing. While there are some exceptions, including prostheses sometimes used immediately after surgery, most prostheses are custom made devices.

Prosthetic socket - the part of a prosthesis into which the residual limb (and any additional socks or liners) fits.

Prosthetic socks and liners - coverings that protect the residual limb and help maintain the appropriate fit and comfort of the surrounding prosthetic socket. Socks may be made of wool, cotton, synthetic fabrics or combinations of cloth and gel. Liners may be made of soft foam, flexible plastic, gels (such as silicone), urethane or soft thermoplastic materials.

Rehabilitation - process of restoring a person who has been debilitated by a disease or injury to a functional life.

Rehabilitation team - a group of allied healthcare professionals that frequently include a physician, surgeon, orthotist/prosthetist, physical and occupational therapist, social worker and counselor who serve the needs of a patient.

Residual limb - the portion of the arm or leg remaining after an amputation.