In O&P, a pad is used to cushion or take up space in a, orthosis/prosthesis.


Touching/evaluating a specific part of the body.


Paralysis of a muscle or group of muscles.

Parallel bars

Stationary bars that are used as a walking aide for balance when learning to walk with an orthosis/prosthesis.


Loss of muscular function (and sensation) usually due to an injury to a nerve or a lesion/disease within the central nervous system.


Traumatic paralysis of lower part of the body (both legs).


Frame to support a paraplegic patient in standing/walking.

Passive motion

Prostheses controlled by using pre-positioning of a manually operated friction, free motion, or locking type joint for the actuation and movement of a mechanical prosthetic component.

Passive/Mechanical Components

Mechanical shoulder, elbow wrist, hand and/or hook components with friction or positive locking joints controlled by manual positioning and/or static positioning for functional or semi-functional use of the components utilized in the design of the prostheses.


Another word used to describe the knee cap.


Soft tendon located just below the knee cap.


Person needing or seeking medical advice and therapy.

Patient assessment

Evaluation of a patient.

PAVLIK harness

Orthosis used on an infant to control hip joint position.


Design, manufacture, fit and/or modification of shoe and foot orthoses to alleviate foot problems caused by disease, congenital condition, overuse or injury.


Individual trained in the manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear for the purposes of alleviating painful or debilitating conditions and providing assistance for abnormalities or limited actions of the lower limb.


Type of foam material used in an orthosis/prosthesis.


The groin area that is located between the legs.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Disease in the peripheral blood vessels, mostly arteries.

Peroneal muscle

Located on the outside of the leg below the knee to the ankle. These muscles assist to raise the foot during walking.

PERTHES' disease

Diagnosis that describes the lack of blood supply to the hip joint.

Pes adductus

Forefoot inverted, adducted, pathological misalignment.

Pes Calcaneus

Present when the ankle is dorsiflexed and the toes are elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the heel.

Pes Cavus

The exaggerated height of the longitudinal arch of the foot.

Pes Equinus

Present when the ankle is plantar flexed and the heel is elevated. This causes the weight to be borne primarily on the toes.

Pes Planus

Commonly known as flatfoot, the foot looks flat and is almost always bent out-ward. Also referred to as planovalgus.

Pes Valgus

An acquired deformity where the weight is borne on the inner border of the foot and the sole is turned outward. Also referred to as talipes valgus.

Pes Varus

A deformity in which the weight is borne on the outer border of the foot and the sole of the foot is turned inward. Also referred to as talipes varus.

PIROGOFF amputation

Hind foot amputation, capping the distal end with a segment of the calcaneus, thus providing endbearing capabilities; orthopedic surgeon (Russia).

Phantom Pain

Pain, which seems to originate in the portion of the limb, which was removed.


Refers to a missing segment or under developed, "the baby was born with out a femur." - usually presents itself as very small, deformed versions of normal limbs.

Physical Therapist (PT)

A trained professional who performs and teaches exercises and other physical activities to aid in rehabilitation and maximize physical ability with less pain. PTs teach the amputee exercise techniques, gait training and ways to navigate physical barriers with a prosthesis.


Undesirable up-and-down motion of stump in prosthetic socket that may cause breakdown.


The side of object that is pointing to the ground.

Plantar flexion

Movement of the foot or hand directed toward the ground.


A material used for padding in O&P. Made up of microcellular polyethylene foam.

Plaster impression

The plaster cast that is applied to the residual limb in order to obtain an accurate model during the fabrication process.

Plaster of Paris (P.O.P.)

Material used in O&P that makes up the mold. (calciumsulfat (CaSO4)),

Plumb line

Vertical reference line.

Plumb line device

Device representing the reference planes (a-p and m-l).


Thickness of a prosthetic sock is measured in ply. Each ply equal 1/8" in circumference.

Pneumatic joint control

Cylinder/piston device controlling prosthetic joint motion.


A medical doctor that specializes in foot care.


Paralysis caused by the polio virus.


A chemical resin that is used in fabrication of orthoses/prostheses.

Polyethylene (PE)

A flexible type of plastic that is used in O&P.

Polypropylene (PP)

A more rigid type of plastic used in the fabrication of orthoses and prostheses.

Positive mold

A three-dimensional cast made of a plaster impression.


Behind, toward the back of the body.


The back and outside of a specific object.


The back and inside of a specific object.

Post-Op Rigid dressing

A protective cast applied in surgery or very soon after amputation to control swelling and pain; used to promote shrinkage and shaping of the residual limb in preparation for a prosthetic fitting.


Allied health professional who is specifically educated and clinically trained to manage the provision of comprehensive orthotic and prosthetic care (commonly used term to refer to orthotists and prosthetists).


Before the amputation.


Orthosis, which is manufactured in quantity without a specific patient in mind, which may be trimmed, bent, molded, or otherwise modified for use by a specific patient (i.e., custom fitted). A preformed orthosis is considered prefabricated even if it requires the attachment of straps and/or the addition of a lining and/or other finishing work or is assembled from prefabricated components is considered prefabricated. Any orthosis that does not meet the definition of a custom fabricated orthosis is considered prefabricated. Also referred to as custom-fitted.


To hold, grasp or pinch.There are various types. (three jaw chuck, lateral prehension).

Preparatory (Temporary) Prosthesis

An artificial limb that is designed, fabricated and fitted soon after surgery; the prosthesis is worn as the residual limb is healing.


Composite fiber reinforcement pre-impregnated with resin.


A written order by a doctor for a medical service or device.

Pressure garment

Medical hosiery or garment for burn treatment.


The movement of the forearm so that the hand rests palm down on a surface.


Laying face downward.


Sensation of location, position and change of body.


Artificial medical device that is not surgically implanted which is used to replace a missing limb or appendage such as artificial limbs, hands, fingers, feet or toes. Note: this does not include devices, which do not have an impact on the musculoskeletal functions of the body (e.g., artificial eyes or appliances for the eyes, dental plates, and largely cosmetic devices such as wigs, artificial breasts, eyelashes, ears and noses).

Prosthetic alignment

Science of assembling prosthetic components in a desired relation to each other.

Prosthetic brim

The proximal part of a prosthetic socket.

Prosthetic Components

The parts that make up the artificial limb. For example, foot, ankle, socket, pylon, etc.


Science and practice of evaluating, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, adjusting, or servicing prosthesis under an order from a licensed physician.

Prosthetic Sock

A sock knitted to fit the shape of the residual limb worn inside the socket. The sock reduces the friction between the residual limb and the socket and replaces lost volume in the socket due to shrinking of the residual limb.


Licensed person who measures, designs, fabricates, fits, or services prosthesis as prescribed by a licensed physician, and who assists in the formulation of the prosthesis prescription for the replacement of external parts of the human body lost due to amputation or congenital deformities or absences.


A person having gone through formal training and exam in orthotics and prosthetics.


The forward movement of a body part such as the shoulder.


A structure that is located closer to the attached end of a limb.


Physical Therapist.


Patella Tendon Bearing.

P.T.B. prosthesis

A prosthesis designed for weight bearing at the patella tendon.

P.T.B./S.C. (prosthesis)

PTB-supracondylar prosthesis.


See PTB; “sc” indicates a supra-condylar suspension.

Push off

The last part of stance phase when the foot comes off the ground.


Pipe-like structure used to connect the prosthetic socket to the foot/ankle components.


 /plan·ti·grade/ (plan?ti-grad) walking on the full sole of the foot.

Follow on:
U.S. Orthotics
Bulldog Tools
POINT Health Centers of America

ᅵ 2009 360 O&P, All Rights Reserved Home | About us | Content Advisory Board | FAQ | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | My Account | Contact Us