What is Orthotics?
Orthotics is the field of rehabilitative medicine concerned with the design and manufacture of externally applied devices called orthoses. An orthosis is placed or applied onto the body to modify or correct functional and structural characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal systems. Orthotists are medical clinicians who assess, manufacture and manage the application of orthoses, as referred and prescribed by other healthcare professionals.
Orthoses may be used to support the limbs of patients suffering disease or injury through controlling, guiding, limiting or immobilising a joint, limb or body segment. They may be used to restrict movement, to enable movement (mechanical), as a rehabilitation device after the removal of a cast, to reduce weight bearing pressure, to correct or accommodate the shape or function of part of the body, or to ease pain.
What do we do?
Orthotists are registered practitioners trained in designing and providing orthoses that modify the biomechanical characteristics of the patient’s neuro-muscular and skeletal systems. This enables patients to mobilise, reduce falls, pain, and in some cases prevents and facilitate the healing of ulcers with the correct insoles and footwear. A wide range of conditions including Diabetes, Arthritis, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Spina Bifida, Scoliosis, sports injuries and trauma are treated by Orthotists.
Your GP or consultant can refer directly to our Orthotics department. Please note that referrals are only valid for one year.
The Orthotics department at the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust is serviced by 2 highly skilled orthotists who cover a wide range of orthoses including upper and lower limb appliances, corsets and complex footwear and insoles.
Comprehensive, personalised advice is given to every patient who access our service, and we work hard to ensure that through assessment, care, and provision of appropriate orthoses, we are able to improve our patients’ quality of life.
Our Orthotic department runs approximately 12 clinics a week Monday - Friday which include both outpatients/inpatients, adult and paediatrics.
Please note that the East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust works on the basis of an 18 week pathway. For this reason, if you cancel an appointment more than once, or fail to attend without giving notice, you may be removed from our outpatient waiting list and returned to the care of your GP.
We offer a repair service for all appliances made to measure or stock items that we provide where appropriate, to include
Surgical Footwear | Adapted Footwear | Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFOs) | Knee Braces/KAFOS | Ankle Braces Fabric Supports
Please always check with the department before disposing of any orthosis as we may be able to repair and/or supply new padding, liners or straps.
Surgical footwear is an extremely costly appliance and therefore it is important to maintain these by regular repairs. It does lengthen the lifespan of the footwear and ensures that patients are not without any footwear at any one time, “one to wear and one to repair”. Repairs to adapted footwear will only be to the adaptation itself, any other part of the shoe must be maintained by the patient
When patients bring in their surgical footwear for repairs please make sure they are in a clean condition as failure to do will result in a rejection by the department/factory.
Statutory Prescriptions (Charges)
Please be aware that statutory prescriptions do apply for some products and therefore these are not free of charge. In most cases, the products which have a statutory prescription are abdominal supports/corsets and compression hosiery.
All prescription charges must be paid on collection
The prescription charges are as follows. Please note these increase yearly in April:
Surgical abdominal support
Stockings (per leg)