"Helping with the Next Step"
  3515G 17 Ave SW  ●  Calgary, AB  ●  T3E 0B6
PH: 403-246-3351 ●  FAX: 403-246-3317


Office hours 8:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday.
We are closed on statutory holidays.

Serving amputees with their prosthetic needs.



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Amputation  |  What is Prosthetics?   What is a Prosthesis?  Who is a Prosthetist? 
Levels of Amputation   |   Prosthetics Glossary  


Amputation is the surgical removal of all or part of a limb, an organ, or projecting part or process of the body. Amputation may be necessary for a variety of reasons, with the main causes of amputation being vascular disease, cancer, infection, trauma and birth defects. Statistics show a higher number of male amputees compared to female amputees. How ever an amputee has lost his or her limb or limbs, prosthetics can help amputees lead active, independent lives with the aide of a prosthesis. In our prosthetics field at Prosthetic Concepts Ltd. we are specifically concerned with arms and legs and their assistive prosthetic replacements.

What is Prosthetics?

Prosthetics is the branch of medicine or surgery that deals with the fabrication and application of artificial body parts.

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What is a Prosthesis?

A prosthesis is an artificial replacement for a missing limb or part of a limb. With a prosthesis, movement and mobility is enhanced and enabled. The prosthesis will never be as good as your own natural limb but with the aide of your Prosthetist, your own determination, perseverance and patience, a prosthesis can assist you in your daily, recreational and sporting activities. At Prosthetic Concepts we are here for you and your prosthetic needs by... "Helping with the Next Step"

Who is a Prosthetist?

A Prosthetist is a member of a rehabilitation team. The rehabilitation team includes a Physician, Physical, Occupational and Recreational therapists, Prosthetist,  Social Worker, Rehab Nurses and Psychologist. These professionals are trained in amputation rehabilitation and treatment. A Prosthetist designs, fabricates, fits and aligns prostheses for  amputees. A qualified prosthetist is certified and governed by the Canadian Board for Certification of Prosthetists and Orthotists (CBCPO) in Canada.

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Levels of Amputation

Lower Limb

There are many factors that determine how much of the limb is amputated. Generally, the longer the remaining limb and the more joints that are kept in tact, the easier it is to fit and use a prosthesis.

Foot Amputations: Amputation of any part of the foot. This includes mid tarsal amputations, Lisfranc amputation, Boyds amputation, and Symes amputation.

Transtibial Amputations (below the knee): Amputation occurs at any level from the knee to the ankle.

Knee Disarticulation: Amputation occurs at the level of the knee joint.

Transfemoral Amputations (above knee ): Amputation occurs at any level from the hip to knee joint.

Hip Disarticulation: Amputation is at the hip joint with the entire thigh portion being removed.

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Upper Limb

There are many factors that determine how much of the limb is amputated. Generally, the longer the remaining limb and the more joints that are kept in tact, the easier it is to be fit with and use a prosthesis.

The major categories of upper-limb amputations are:

Hand & Partial-Hand Amputations: Finger, thumb or portion of the hand below the wrist

Wrist Disarticulation: Limb is amputated at the level of the wrist

Transradial (below elbow amputations): Any amputation occurring in the forearm, from the elbow to the wrist

Transhumeral (above elbow amputations): Any amputation occurring in the upper arm from the elbow to the shoulder
Shoulder Disarticulation: At the level of the shoulder, with the shoulder blade remaining. The collarbone may or may not be removed

Forequarter Amputation: Shoulder disarticulation amputation in which the shoulder blade and collar bone are removed

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Prosthetics Glossary

AE - Above-the-elbow (transhumeral) amputee.

AK -
Above-the-knee (transfemoral) amputee.

Alignment -
The proper adjusting of the prosthesis in relation to the residual limb.
Amputation - The loss or absence of all or part of a limb.

Anatomy -
The study of the structure of the body and the inter-relations of its parts.
Assistive/Adaptive Equipment - Devices that assist in performance or mobility, including ramps and bars, changes in furniture heights, environmental control units and specially designed devices.

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BE - Below-the-elbow (transradial) amputee.

BK -
Below-the-knee (transtibial) amputee.

Bilateral Amputee -
A person missing both limbs (legs or arms)

Bioelectric -
Involving the electric phenomena that occur in living tissues (e.g., muscles and nerves).

Biomechanics -
Applying mechanical principles to the study of how the human body moves.

Bionics -
The study of living systems as applied to the design of mechanical devices.
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Bumper - A rubber like (polymer based) device inserted into a knee or ankle component as a resistance or extension aid.  Bumpers come in different durometers (color coded) which allow the amputee to have different resistance levels.

Certification - A level of training that is verified by the appropriate professional organization.  It is your proof that the practitioner has the required TECHNICAL training.  It in no way certifies the personality or business practices of the practitioner or facility.

Check or Test Socket - A temporary socket, often transparent, made over the plaster model to aid in obtaining a proper fit.  A successful test socket will then be remade into the definitive socket.

Congenital Amputee -  Individual born missing a limb(s).
Technically, these individuals are not Amputees, but are considered to be "Limb Deficient"

Congenital Anomaly - An abnormality at birth, such as a missing or malformed limb.

Cosmesis - The natural appearance of a prosthesis achieved by a lifelike covering fitted over its components.

Carbon Fiber - The ultra-durable, aircraft-grade material used in energy-storing components and in the fabrication of sockets.

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Cybernetics -
The science of communication and control processes as applied to the physiologic systems in man.

Endoskeletal Prosthesis -
A device in which the support structure is internal, like the human skeleton. A more cosmetic appearance is achieved by adding a soft, lifelike external covering that resembles a human limb.

Energy-storing Foot -
An artificial foot that absorbs and releases energy to aid walking or running. Acting like a "spring," this component reduces fatigue and helps propel the person forward.

Eversion -
A turning outward.

Exoskeletal Prosthesis -
A device in which the outside surface is the structural member. Also referred to as crustacean, the hollow shell gives support and rigidity. It is a less functional, but extremely durable prosthesis.

Hemi-pelvectomy -
An amputation where approximately half the pelvic bone is removed.
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Hip Disarticulation -
Amputation of the entire leg from the hip.

Inversion -
A turning inward.

Kinematics -
The science of descriptive geometry of bodies in motion with respect to their relationship among displacement, velocity and acceleration. Kinesiology The study of human motion.

Kinetics -
The study of bodies in motion with respect to mass, force, and energy.

Lamination -
The process of permanently attaching the artificial limb to the socket using carbon fiber cloth and epoxy.

Myoelectric -
The technology of taking human nerve impulses or electrical impulses from outside the body and converting them to an electric current. That current is amplified enough to trigger a motorized component in a prosthesis which, in turn, moves an artificial arm, wrist or hand.

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Outcomes Research -
Studies that measure patients' clinical improvements against cost factors.

Physiology -
The science of essential life processes, functions and activities.

Prosthesis -
An artificial device used to replace an extremity that is partially or totally missing; commonly referred to as an artificial limb (plural is prostheses).

Pylon -
The shaft which extends the length of a lower extremity artificial limb. It joins the socket to the prosthetic foot.

Rehab Engineering -
A combination of medicine, engineering and related sciences that uses technological systems to solve the rehabilitation problems of handicapped people.

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Rehab Outcomes -
Studies that measure the patient's clinical improvement against cost factors.

Residual Limb -
Formerly called a "stump," it is the portion of the limb remaining after amputation.

Foot Solid Ankle Cushioned Heel, which by definition, is non- dynamic.

Socket -
A hollow, cushioned form attached to the top of the prosthesis into which the patient's residual limb fits.

Syme -
The style of amputation named after Dr. James Syme, who developed the surgical technique in 1842. It involves removing all bony elements of the foot while preserving the heel pad to facilitate full weight-bearing capacity.

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The information presented on this website is for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice which should be obtained through consultation with appropriate professionals.


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