Description

An orthotist/prosthetist helps people of all ages who need artificial limbs (prostheses) and other supportive devices (orthoses) such as back or ankle braces and callipers. They assess the physical needs of people with mobility issues caused by amputation or problems with their muscles, bones or nervous system. An orthotist/prosthetist can make and fit devices.

Orthotics involves fitting special braces to support and protect part of the body that is affected by injury and disease, whereas prosthetics involves making, fitting and maintaining artificial limbs to replace a missing body part. People can work either as an orthotist, a prosthetist or as an orthotist/prosthetist.

An orthotist/prosthetist can work in public and private hospitals, community-based organisations and aged-care facilities. They work closely with other healthcare professionals such as nurses, medical specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists.

Services provided

  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Management of acute and chronic conditions
  • Information and advice
  • Worker's compensation, motor accident insurance (TAC) and Department of Veterans’ Affairs requirements
  • Preparation and dispensing of mobility aids

Eligibility

An appointment with an orthotist/prosthetist usually requires a referral from your doctor.

How to access

Find out more from the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association website.

Hours

Contact your local orthotist/prosthetist for clinic opening hours.

Costs

The cost of orthotist/prosthetist services varies depending on the treatment. Contact the clinic before you attend if you are unsure of the cost.

Medicare
Orthotists/prosthetics are not widely covered by Medicare. They are covered for individuals who are eligible under some programs.

Private health funds
Orthotists/prosthetics are covered by some private health funds but your coverage will depend on your insurance policy.