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What is orthopedic impairment?
An orthopedic impairment is a physical impairment that is severe enough to adversely affect a person’s life. This impairment may result from birth injuries, deformities, disease, surgery, or other causes. Impairments may affect bones, joints, or muscles. Some common orthopedic impairments include: spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy.
What are the characteristics of orthopedic impairments?
The term orthopedic impairment covers a wide range of disorders. Individuals with orthopedic impairments will display different characteristics depending on their particular disorder and the severity of that disorder. The three main categories of orthopedic impairments include neuromotor impairments, degenerative diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders. Neuromotor impairments may cause limited limb movement, a loss of proper alignment of the spine, tightening or loosening of the muscles, and loss of control over urinary function. Degenerative diseases may affect motor development and display progressive muscle weaknesses. Musculoskeletal disorders may cause various levels of physical limitations like in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (Project IDEAL, 2008).
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