Prosthetists provide an artificial replacement for patients who are missing a limb. Orthotists provide a range of aids to correct problems or deformities in people’s nerves, muscles or bones.

This page has information on being a prosthetist and an orthotist with links to further information.

Working life

As a prosthetist your aim is to design and create prostheses which match as closely as possible the missing limb. 

As an orthotist, you'll provide splints, braces and special footwear (orthotics).

As a prosthetist, you first make a model of the area where the prosthesis will be fitted.

An important part of the work is assessing the patient and understanding what they want and need their prosthesis to help them achieve. For example, some prostheses are designed for particular sports.

Once the prosthesis is made, you'll fit it. You'll may need to make adjustments to ensure the patient’s comfort and best possible performance. You'll spend time helping patients get used to using the new prosthetic.

You'll work with people of all ages who may have

As an orthotist your aim is to aid movement, correct deformity and relieve discomfort. This involves assessing the patient’s needs.

You'll treat people of all ages with a wide range of conditions, including

Both prosthetists and orthotists use up to date digital imaging techniques and CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided modelling).

In either role, you'll work alongside doctors, nursespodiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and technicians.

You are likely to be based in a hospital but may also work in private clinics.

How to become a prosthetist or orthotist

To become a prosthetist or orthotist you’ll need to train and study at a degree level - either through a full-time course or a degree apprenticeship in prosthetics and orthotics. For full-time courses, entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the prosthetics and orthotics courses using our Course Finder tool.

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