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We experience much of life because of our mobility, strength, and independence. What happens when one’s momentum is stopped by an injury or illness resulting in the loss of a limb? What happens when a child’s momentum is hindered by a birth defect? It is a time when certified orthotists and prosthetists play a major role in moving a person forward.

      In 1976, after graduate school and while interviewing for medical school, Joe Carter worked at Philadelphia’s Cocco Brothers, an orthotics and prosthetics firm. He decided to forego becoming a doctor because he discovered the kind of healing he wanted to practice - restoring and mobilizing people.
      Certified in prosthetics in 1980 and orthotics in 1982 by the American Board for Certification (ABC), Joseph H. Carter, Jr., MS, CPO, started Carter Orthopedics, Ltd., in 1984 in Titusville, Penn., with one employee. His growing staff now numbers 15.

      An orthotist cares for a patient with a disabling condition of a limb or spine by designing, fabricating, and fitting the patient with an orthosis - a brace or strengthening device such as a cervical brace, body jacket, upper- or lower-extremity brace, or custom shoe inserts or footwear.
      A prosthetist cares for a patient with partial or total absence of a limb by designing, fabricating, and fitting that patient with a prosthesis, or artificial limb. These include upper-extremity prostheses, both conventional and myoelectric, and lower-extremity prostheses ranging from toe-fillers to hip disarticulations.
      Practitioners who are certified in their specialties obtain a minimum 15 continuing education units yearly to maintain ABC approval. Staff technicians meet a set of strict requirements, and all staff members must attend continuing education courses as well.

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