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What is an Orthotist?

An Orthotist (pron: Ortho-tist) is an allied health professional and clinician who practices in public hospitals or the private sector.

The Orthotist’s role is to assess, prescribe, apply and provide education regarding the use and care of an appropriate orthosis that serves the individual’s requirements.

An orthosis is the true term for a brace or appliance that is designed and fitted to the body to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Control biomechanical alignment
  • Protect and support a healing injury
  • Assist rehabilitation
  • Reduce pain
  • Increase mobility
  • Increase independence

Commonly prescribed orthoses include;

  • Foot Orthoses, for various foot problems
  • Ankle and Knee Orthoses, for joint protection or support after surgery
  • Fracture Orthoses, the modern alternative to plaster or fibreglass casts
  • Spinal Orthoses, providing low back pain relief or helping control spinal deformities and injuries

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.