Friday, March 6, 2009


Prosthetics and Orthotics is a medical and engineering based healthcare profession which deals with rehabilitation of physically handicapped individuals who suffer from limb malfunctions or abnormalities or absence or loss of limbs or other body parts. The loss of body parts may have been the result of an accident or mishap or amputation owing to medical conditions like diabetes or gangrene or cancer or in some cases the defect may be congenital i.e people are born with this handicap where a limb / a body part may be missing.

Such a condition prevents a person from leading a normal life. There may also be cases where people suffering from conditions like polio or muscular degeneration need an external support for movement and strength to go about their day to day activities. Prosthetists and Orthotists are professionals who help people suffering from neuromotor and musculoskeletal disorders such as the ones mentioned above, to return to a normal life by using their skills and advanced medical technology.

A Prosthesis, or what is commonly known as an artificial limb is an extension or replacement of a missing or damaged body part. It can be an artificial leg, an entire hand or just the palms of hands or feet etc. Those professionals who deal with prosthesis are called Prosthetists.

An Orthosis is a device which can give support to weak limbs or help to correct a deformity. It is derived from the Greek word 'ortho' meaning 'to straighten'. Such devices include braces, splints and special footwear which assist movement and tend to lessen the amount of discomfort. Orthotists are professionals concerned with manufacture and fitting of Orthosis.

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