• Home
  • A Day in the Life of an Orthotist

A Day in the Life of an Orthotist

What is an Orthotist?

Our profession gets this question a lot, and that is because our field is so small in a large medical and rehabilitation world. Orthotists are healthcare professionals who specialize in designing, fabricating and fitting a variety of assistive devices for a body part that is not functioning optimally. The body part may become weakened or deformed by injury, disease or a nerve, muscle or bone disorder resulting in the body part needing extra support. 

When someone first walks through our door, they are evaluated for the assistive device their physician has prescribed. The patient’s past medical history, functional ability, current limitations and functional goals are all assessed. Depending on the device, a negative mould of the body part will be taken. Next, the mould is filled with plaster to create a positive mould which can then be modified for the specific device. Next, an Orthotist will work with their technical team to design the device; specific components and materials will be chosen for fabrication. Once the device has been fabricated, the patient will return for a fitting appointment and to be taught how to use it. 

We might start our day evaluating an infant with plagiocephaly for a cranial remodeling orthosis. Our next patient may have chronic foot ulcers and peripheral neuropathy needing an offloading Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) to “unweight” the bottom of their foot to promote ulcer healing. This appointment might be followed by AFO fitting appointments for someone who recently had a stroke or a child who walks on their toes secondary to an underlying neuromuscular condition. 

The afternoon may start with a follow up appointment for a recently delivered AFO where we learn that it is helping our patient with their activities of daily living. Then we may assess an adolescent for a scoliosis back brace. In addition to providing care for people with mobility concerns, we also treat people with boney deformities and joint contractures. 

As you can see, we meet and treat a wide array of individuals with a variety of medical concerns. Our job is extremely rewarding and full of interesting individuals and stories. For more information on our profession, feel free to contact our office or visit the Orthotics and Prosthetics Canada website.


The Custom Orthotics Team (519) 850-4721 | office@customorthoticsoflondon.com | @cool_bracing


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter