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History of ISPO

The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) was founded as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 1970, in Copenhagen, Denmark. ISPO grew out of the International Committee of Prosthetics and Orthotics of the International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, which later became Rehabilitation International. Knud Jansen, a well-respected orthopedic surgeon, chaired this Committee and was the principal driver behind the creation of ISPO. To honour its founding President, the Society initiated the Knud Jansen Lecture which, by tradition, is now presented as the opening lecture of the ISPO World Congress.

From the very beginning, ISPO was seen to be multidisciplinary, with equal status for all members regardless of profession, gender, or race. The primary objective was to improve the rehabilitation of all people with physical disability requiring prosthetic, orthotic, or other technical aid.

ISPO has approximately 3,500 members of different professional disciplines in over 100 countries: prosthetists and orthotists, prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) technicians, orthopaedic surgeons, rehabilitation doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthopaedic shoemakers, nurses and biomechanical/rehabilitation engineers.

The Society took over the editorship and responsibility for Prosthetics and Orthotics International (POI) which was formerly the journal of the International Committee on Prosthetics and Orthotics of the International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled. POI remains the main international academic journal for prosthetics and orthotics.

The ISPO UK Member Society was founded in 1972, under the chairmanship of Professor George Murdoch, a founding member of ISPO. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of rehabilitation medicine and to the national and global growth of ISPO, the UK Member Society launched the prestigious George Murdoch Prize Lecture at its Silver Jubilee Meeting in 1997.

You can read more about the history of ISPO on its website and in the ISPO UK 40th Anniversary Compendium.

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