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March 16, 1963

Orthotic Devices for Patients With Chronic Physical Handicap

JAMA. 1963;183(11):939-941. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700110006013b

WHAT IS AN ORTHOSIS? Actually, a properly designed orthosis is a biomechanical analogue. An analogue is a part of an organ which has the same function as another part of an organ, but of different origin. It is as similar to the other as possible, both in function and dynamics, and tends to replace the essential function. In order to fit an orthosis to an individual with a chronic illness and neuromuscular deficit, it is important to know first the normal dynamics, axis of motion, and function of the involved portion of the extremity. In fitting an orthosis to a disabled extremity, it is necessary to develop, design, and construct a biomechanical analogue to replace the missing part or loss of this portion of the extremity. Fixation on the extremity is very difficult without loss of function, and it is necessary to maintain normal mechanical and physiological dynamics of