• Mirror therapy

    A supplementary intervention to overcome or reduce the phantom limb pain.
    Initially guided by a therapist, the training should eventually be conducted by the patient himself. The procedure is simple: The patient is placed next to a mirror hiding the residual limb behind it. The amputee then concentrates on his/her non-affected leg during different sensory exercises and due to the reflection he imagines both legs moving. Caution: Mirror therapy can cause mental effects to the patient. Make sure the patient can handle the fact of seeing his amputated leg again.

  • Hemipelvectomy

    The entire leg and parts of the pelvis up to the sacrum are amputated. The pelvis also assumes the control function for the subsequent prosthesis here.

  • Bilateral amputation

    Both arms or both legs are amputated in part or entirely.

  • Mobility grade 1

    Low mobility grade: Known as indoor walkers, these users are able to cover short distances on even surfaces and at low speeds – by using appropriate devices, such as walkers.

  • Microprocessor-controlled or bionic knee joint

    Thanks to a complex sensor system, a microprocessor in the prosthetic knee detects certain movement patterns and for example controls the swing and stance phases in real time. It makes intuitive use and a virtually physiological gait pattern possible for the user.

  • Hip disarticulation

    With this type of amputation height, the acetabulum remains intact. The prosthesis is then controlled by the movement of the pelvis and the activity of the trunk muscles.

  • Prosthetic knee joint

    An artificial knee that serves as a functional replacement for the physiological knee. The various prosthetic knee joints support the individual requirements according to the mobility of the user.

  • Transtibial amputation

    In a transtibial or below-knee amputation, the procedure is done through the tibia.

  • Mobility grade 2

    Moderate mobility grade: Known as restricted outdoor walkers, these users are able to also walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate low obstacles such as curbs and steps – by using appropriate devices, such as walkers or forearm crutches. Some may not require any devices in indoor areas.

  • Yielding

    Stance phase flexion in the knee joint under load.

  • Rotation adapter

    A prosthetic component that allows the user to rotate the lower leg to the side – a characteristic that proves helpful, for example when putting on shoes. A rotation adapter is used for patients with transfemoral amputations and higher-level amputations.

  • Knee disarticulation

    With this method, the knee joint is severed and the lower leg is removed, while the thigh bone remains intact.

  • Electrical therapy

    Use of electrical impulses on affected areas of the body, using a small battery-powered device to block or reduce pain signals.

  • Mobility grade

    The amputee’s activity level plays an important role in selecting the prosthetic components. Ottobock distinguishes between 4 mobility levels (grades).

  • Interim prosthesis

    Before amputees are provided with a definitive prosthesis, the volume of the residual limb must be stable and the surgical would must be healed and prepared for wearing a prosthesis. The O&P professional therefore initially provides the patient with a trial prosthesis in order to determine the optimum fit of the socket and identify suitable prosthetic components.

  • Stance phase

    The moment from first heel contact until the big toe lifts off within a gait cycle.

  • Swing phase

    Describes the moment when the foot swings free in the air while walking.

  • Donning sheath

    The donning sheath is a funnel-shaped piece of fabric that makes it easier for transfemoral amputees to put on their prosthesis. Using them makes it possible to pull the residual limb more smoothly into the prosthetic socket.

  • Mobility grade 3

    High mobility grade: Known as unrestricted outdoor walkers, these users are able to walk on almost any surface and at various speeds, and also cover longer distances. Able to cross most obstacles, they can work as well as participate in therapeutic and other activities.

  • Compression sock

    Compression stockings are used for diseases of the venous system to support the damaged veins and thus the lymphatic system, to lead back accumulated fluids so that swelling ( stasis of the veins ) is reduced

  • Mobility grade 4

    Especially high mobility grade: Unrestricted outdoor walkers with especially rigorous demands are able to master even more difficult challenges in sports, at work environment or during leisure activities with their prosthesis.

  • Prosthetic socket

    Interface between the patient’s body and the prosthetic components attached to it. It is a highly sensitive element since it determines the comfort of the prosthesis to a large extent. This is why it is individually fabricated in each case. To ensure the perfect fit of the socket, the patient’s body dimensions have to be determined with the highest precision.

  • Prosthetic foot

    An artificial foot which the O&P professional carefully selects to ensure safe, comfortable standing as well as a smooth gait pattern.

  • Carbon prosthetic foot

    Carbon is a very lightweight, robust and flexible material with a pronounced spring effect. Users who have prosthetic feet made largely of carbon fibre therefore benefit from a high energy return while walking.

  • Amputation level

    The amputation level describes the place where a body part is amputated. It is determined by the surgeon before the operation.

  • Bouncing

    The limited flexion of a knee joint under load against a dampening resistance.

  • Modular prosthesis

    Consists of various components; for example, foot, knee, adapter and socket. Individual combinations can therefore be assembled according to the users’ needs. By contrast, the foot or knee is connected to the socket in an exoskeletal design. Modular prostheses are more commonly used today.

  • Adapters and connecting elements

    These connect the various prosthetic components and provide enhanced safety, mobility, and wearing comfort.

  • Vacuum system

    A vacuum system generates a vacuum between the liner and socket using an “active principle” (pump) or “passive principle” (pistoning movement of the residual limb). The objective is good suspension of the prosthesis on the body.

  • Liner

    A sock-like cover for the residual limb that acts as a sort of “second skin” between the movable soft tissue of the residual limb and the socket. The liner protects and cushions the pressure-sensitive areas of the residual limb and, together with a suspension system, connects the residual limb to the prosthesis. Selecting the right liner is essential in order to ensure the prosthesis fits perfectly and is comfortable to wear.

  • Transfemoral amputation

    In a transfemoral or above-knee amputation, the limb is severed through the thigh bone.


There are many different, specific technical terms for prosthesis fitting. Here you will find an overview and explanation of the most important terms that you may need in your therapeutic treatment and in communication with doctors and orthopaedic technicians.



To support you in your daily work with amputees we offer targeted seminars. All seminar impart specific knowledge about our products and how to train with amputees, to make it easier and more effective.


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