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What is your job title?


What Does and Orthotist do?

By Physicians referral, Orthotists assess patients for Orthopedic Braces for Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Spinal Dysfunctions caused by trauma, disease, and congenital reasons. Orthotists design, fabricate, fit, align and maintain said braces (Orthoses) with input from patient, physician, and therapists.

What training is necessary to do your work?

A degree (usually in Kinesiology) based on anatomy and physiology, plus two years in Vancouver or Toronto in Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinical School. Two more years work and training in a sponsored Internship is required, followed by final Certification exams.

Where do you work?

In a Rehabilitation Hospital

Who needs your services and why?

  • Children with childhood anomalies such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and Scoliosis.
  • Adults with strokes and various traumas.
  • Post surgical Orthopedic and Neuro patients for Spinal or Leg Bracing.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Interaction with the broader medical team of nurses and other therapists.

What challenges do you have in your job?

We could use a couple more Orthotists to keep wait times down.

What are the consequences when there are not enough people with your training to provide services?

Longer wait times for services. If the patient waiting is a diabetic with a pressure ulcer on his foot, the cost of waiting could be an amputation. For a child with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) waiting could let the condition worsen, perhaps leading to a deformity or surgery. For a child with Cerebral Palsy waiting for leg braces means delaying weight bearing that contributes to proper growth. For adults with knee pain it could make the difference of holding down a job or not.