What Is the Meaning of Orthopedic Handicapped?

By Kelly Morris

The term "orthopedic" refers to impairments of the skeletal system, including the spine, other bones and associated muscles, according to the Dictionary.com website. Orthopedic handicaps are conditions of the skeletal system that limit a person's abilities.

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The term “orthopedic” refers to impairments of the skeletal system, including the spine, other bones and associated muscles, according to the Dictionary.com website. Orthopedic handicaps are conditions of the skeletal system that limit a person’s abilities.

Types

Orthopedic handicaps include bone diseases such as Paget's disease and osteogenesis imperfecta, spinal cord injuries, nerve injuries such as brachial plexus palsy, and congenital conditions such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

Limitations

People with orthopedic handicaps usually have some difficulty with walking or movement. The severity depends on the type of orthopedic handicap they have. Problems may be minor, or individuals may have difficulty moving independently at all. Some conditions cause bones to break easily. People with orthopedic handicaps may have other disabilities as well. For instance, hearing loss often occurs in people with Paget’s disease.

Treatments

People with orthopedic handicaps may require wheelchairs to get around. Medication or surgery can treat some conditions. Physical and occupational therapy helps people learn to function as independently as possible with their handicaps.

References

About the Author

Kelly Morris has been making a living as a writer since 2004. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph with a major in social work and minor in women's studies. Her work has appeared in a number of print publications including Caregivers Home Companion, Midwifery Today and Guide.

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