Orthotists are tertiary qualified Allied Health Professionals who assess and treat the physical and functional limitations of people resulting from illnesses and disabilities.
The Orthotist’s role is to assess, prescribe, design, fit, monitor and educate regarding the use and care of an appropriate orthosis that serves an individual’s requirements. Orthotists treat a wide variety of clients such as children born with congenital limb deficiency or cerebral palsy, patients with muscular weakness after a stroke or spinal injury, patients with diabetic foot ulcers and patients suffering or wishing to prevent an acute injury.
An orthosis is the correct term for an externally applied device that is designed and fitted to the body to achieve one or more of the following goals: Control biomechanical alignment, correct or accommodate deformity, protect and support an injury, assist rehabilitation, reduce pain, increase mobility or increase independence
There are a wide variety of prefabricated and custom-made orthoses used for many musculo-skeletal problems. They are specialised devices and should always be fitted by a fully qualified orthotist.