Orthotics / Prosthetics

Orthotics / Prosthetics

Orthotists/prosthetists help people to reach their goals, such as increased community participation and movement. They do this through the provision of orthoses (splints and braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs) and associated clinical services. Orthotists/prosthetists provide devices to increase mobility and independence for people experiencing illness or disability.

Where do orthotists/prosthetists practise?

Orthotists/prosthetists work across a range of health settings including public and private hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, private orthotic/prosthetic centres, universities, research facilities and non-government organisations.

When should I see an orthotist/prosthetist?

There are a wide range of reasons for referral to see an orthotist/prosthetist such as illness, disability, pain management and limb amputation. Some typical reasons that may lead to a person being referred to an orthotist/prosthetist include:

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

What services do orthotists/prosthetists provide?

Orthotists/prosthetists provide a broad range of services to support people in managing function and mobility requirements. This includes the assessment, prescription, design, manufacture and fitting of all types of devices (orthoses and prostheses) to patients. Key areas of work for orthotist/prosthetists are:

  • Designing, prescribing and fitting orthoses and prostheses with the client to meet their personal and treatment goals
  • Undertaking and/or co-ordinating the safe manufacture of orthoses and prostheses
  • Continually evaluating the fit, function, quality and safety of orthoses/prostheses and modifies as required to ensure a client’s personal and functional outcomes in relation to established treatment goals
  • Working with external bodies to provide specialist advice to specific client groups such as those requiring third-party compensation and medico-legal representation.

How are orthotist/prosthetists qualified?

In order to practice, orthotist/prosthetists must complete a dual stream (orthotics and prosthetics) tertiary qualification which is equivalent to a Level 7 on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) (Bachelor qualification).

To become a member of The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association, orthotist/prosthetists are required to meet the Minimum Tertiary Standard and a variety of other certification requirements, such as English Language and Recency of Practice.

Further Information

For more detailed information about orthotist/prosthetists, visit the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association website.

Find an orthotist/prosthetist

AOPA provides a Find an Orthotist/Prosthetist service to assist you in locating a practitioner. The service can be accessed here.