Orthotics is a specialty involving application of external devices to the body to improve mobility, aid function, provide support, correct malalignment, protect, facilitate healing, or reduce pain/discomfort.
“Orthoses” is a broad term used to describe the external devices and include functional insoles, braces, splints, callipers, trusses, specialist footwear, spinal jackets, neck collars & helmets. Compression hosiery can sometimes be provided as part of the Orthotic Service.
HCPC registered Orthotists are generally the designated professionals responsible for the assessment, prescription, design, manufacture and fitting of orthoses to patients. Part of their role is to consider and discuss with the patient the type of orthoses that will best meet their needs.
Orthotic services provide treatment options for people with a wide range if conditions and orthotists work closely with several clinical specialities within the NHS including diabetes care, elderly medicine, neurology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, stroke, and trauma teams.
The correct supply and fitting of orthoses can help improve quality of life by reducing pain, keeping people mobile and independent and preventing more invasive and expensive interventions like surgery, amputation, or the need for social care.