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 [or-tho´sis] (Gr.)
an orthopedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent, or correct deformities or to improve function of movable parts of the body. See also brace and splint.
cervical orthosis a rigid plastic orthosis that encircles the neck and supports the chin and the back of the head; used in the treatment of injuries to the cervical spine.
Cervical orthoses. A, Soft foam collar. B, Firm plastic collar.
Cervical orthoses offering rigid support to the cervical spine: A, Halo-type cervical orthosis attached to a polyethylene jacket. B, Four poster orthosis.
dynamic orthosis an orthosis that both gives support and aids in the initiation and performance of movement by a body part.
flexion orthosis (flexor orthosis) tenodesis splint.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


, pl.


(ōr-thō'sis, -sēz),
An external orthopaedic appliance, for example, a brace or splint, that prevents or assists movement of the spine or the limbs.
[G. orthōsis, a making straight]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


plural, orthoses Orthopedics The straightening of a deformity; an external device–eg, a cast, brace, or splint used to stabilize, reinforce or immobilize an extremity, ↓ sensory input to an extremity, prevent stretch weakness, ↓ contractures, functionally assist weak muscles, protect a limb with pressure sores, provide a mechanical block to prevent undesired movement Types Orthoses are available for spine, hip, foot, knee. See Foot orthotics, Scapular reaction.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


, pl. orthoses (ōr-thō'sis, -sēz)
An external orthopedic appliance, as a brace or splint, that prevents or assists movement of the spine or the limbs.
Synonym(s): orthesis.
[G. orthōsis, a making straight]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(or-tho'sis) [Gr. orthosis, guidance, straightening]
Any device added to the body to stabilize or immobilize a body part, prevent deformity, protect against injury, or assist with function. Orthotic devices range from arm slings to corsets and finger splints. They may be made from a variety of materials, including rubber, leather, canvas, rubber synthetics, and plastic. orthotic (-thot'ik), adjective
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ankle-foot orthosis

Abbreviation: AFO
Any of a class of external orthopedic appliances, braces, or splints devised to control, limit, or assist foot and ankle motion and provide leg support. Typically, orthotics are made of lightweight materials such as thermoplastics. See: illustration

Patient care

A variety of ankle-foot orthoses are used. In the treatment of Achilles' tendon rupture, e.g., the orthosis holds the foot at a right angle to the horizontal plane of the body, in plantar flexion.

balanced forearm orthosis

Mobile arm support.

halo vest orthosis

Halo vest.

spinal orthosis

A supportive device applied to the back (and often encircling the trunk) that limits the movement of the vertebrae, alleviates pain, or unloads mechanical stress; back brace.

wrist-driven hand orthosis

Abbreviation: WDHO
An orthotic that uses the muscles of the wrist, esp. the extensor muscles, to drive the fingers together into a grasping motion. It can be used by people with paralysis of the hand to improve the ability to hold on to and release objects.

wrist-driven wrist-hand orthosis

Abbreviation: WDWHO
A dynamic splint used for functional grasp by people with C6 tetraplegia.
See: tenodesis (2); universal cuff.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


An appliance worn on the body to reduce or prevent deformity or to provide support, relieve pain and facilitate movement.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


A force system designed to control or correct or compensate for a bone deformity, deforming forces, or forces absent from the body.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.