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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

About Orthotics

All you need to know about our service

What is Orthotics?

Orthotics is a service that provides devices called orthoses (also called braces and splints). These are given to help to prevent, correct or accommodate a deformity and/or improve function. This can be as a result of an injury, disorder or due to the way our bodies alter as we get older.

Orthoses fall into one of the following groups:

  • Shoes and insoles
  • Calipers and splints
  • Knee braces
  • Back supports
  • Wrist braces
  • Compression Stockings
  • Collars
  • Hip supports
  • Shoulder supports
  • Ankle supports

What is an Orthotist?

Orthotists are autonomous registered Allied Health Practitioners who provide static and gait analysis to utilise engineering solutions for patients with problems of the neuro, muscular and skeletal systems. They are extensively trained at undergraduate level in mechanics, bio-mechanics, and material science along with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

Their degree qualifications make them competent to design and provide orthoses that modify the structural or functional characteristics of the patient’s neuro-muscular and skeletal systems enabling patients to mobilise, eliminate gait deviations, reduce falls, reduce pain, prevent and facilitate healing of ulcers. Whilst they often work as autonomous practitioners they increasingly often form part of multidisciplinary teams such as within the diabetic foot team or neuro-rehabilitation team.

How can you get referred to the Orthotic Service?

The Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) accepts referrals for orthotics from either:

  • Your GP, or
  • One of our consultants or therapists