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Rehabilitation Services

Specialist Orthotics Service

A specialist service to patients whose needs are complex and a multidisciplinary assessment is required. This usually results in the provision of an orthosis .

About our service

The Regional Specialist Orthotics service provides a specialist service to patients whose needs are physically or technically complex, and a multidisciplinary assessment is required. This usually results in the provision of an orthosis.

The Multidisciplinary Team consists of Orthotists, Physiotherapists a Consultant in Rehabilitation and Nurses.

If you have received an appointment from us you will have been referred to us by your doctor, therapist, specialist nurse or orthotist, or you may have been referred by one of the Specialist Clinics at the West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre which you have attended.


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What is an orthosis and what do orthotists do?

An orthosis is a support that corrects or protects part of your body.  Examples are splints, braces orthopaedic footwear etc. An orthotist is a Healthcare Professional who will prescribe and fit your orthosis.


What happens at an assessment appointment?

You will be assessed by the appropriate members of the multidisciplinary team, usually an orthotist and a physiotherapist.

A detailed history and physical examination will take place, and the findings will be discussed with you before treatment goals are agreed. 

It is useful for you to bring shorts to facilitate the assessment process if your problem is with your walking.

It is also useful if you can bring any previous orthoses (splints or braces) and your current walking aid (stick or frame) to the appointment with you.  If your legs tend to swell and you have compression hosiery please wear it to your appointment.

It is really important that you bring someone who knows you well to the appointment if you have communication or memory difficulties.


What happens after the assessment?

Sometimes your treatment plan will start during the assessment appointment, or other times you will be brought back for measurement or casting appointments, dependant on your needs.

Further appointments will then be needed to fit the appropriate orthosis and then to review and maintain it.

Physiotherapy appointments may be appropriate, before or after the provision of your orthosis to maximize the benefits of it.  These may be provided at the centre or arranged at your local service.

Once your orthosis is working well you may be referred back to your local orthotics service for your ongoing care.

If you are unable to attend your appointment please contact the booking and scheduling department on the number below as soon as possible so that it can be rearranged.

If you fail to attend your appointment or if you cancel several appointments you may be discharged.


Information for professionals

The Regional Specialist Orthotics service provides a specialist service to patients whose needs are physically or technically complex, and a multidisciplinary assessment is required. This usually results in the provision of an orthosis.

The Multidisciplinary Team consists of Orthotists, Physiotherapists, a Consultant in Rehabilitation and Nurses.

The service has the following specialist clinics:

  • Serial casting clinic: removable custom-made casts are made to provide a stretch to the muscles and soft tissues around the problem joint.  The aim of these is to stabilize and / or improve the range of movement at the joint.  These are usually for the lower limb and are weight bearing to allow standing, transfers and walking. If improvements in range of movement are achieved a patient will have a series of incremental casts.  Patients are then usually supplied with a definitive, custom-made orthosis to maintain the range of movement and maximise function.
  • Upper limb orthotics clinic: custom-made or off the shelf orthoses are supplied to enhance function, relieve pain, facilitate hygiene, prevent loss of or maximize range of motion.
  • Lower limb orthotics clinic: custom-made or off the shelf orthoses provided to facilitate safe gait or transfers, protect vulnerable feet, reduce pain, prevent loss of range or maintain optimal alignment
  • Dynamic lycra splinting clinic: custom-made lycra garments provided to reduce tremor and optimize function, reduce muscle tone and or associated reactions, stabilize or improve sensory awareness of body parts.
  • Consultant led clinic: for complex diabetic foot problems and limb salvage.
  • General orthotics clinic: addressing other complex presentations including partial foot amputation, and head posture difficulties.


Who is the service for?

The service compliments local district orthotics services by providing a regional service for those patients requiring more specialised multi disciplinary assessment or complex orthoses.

  • Residents of West Midlands
  • Age 16 or over
  • Long term neurological condition (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis) or
  • Complex foot problems related to diabetes (Diabetic/vulnerable feet) or
  • Partial foot amputations or
  • Failed local provision


Referral process

Patients can be referred  by sending the referral form to

Referrals are reviewed and prioritised on a weekly basis

Referrers may be contacted for further information or with advice to redirect the referral to a more appropriate service if appropriate.

Referrers can contact the department to discuss potential patients if they are unsure if they meet the access criteria.  The best time to do this is 8.30 - 9.00 am. Or 3.20 pm – 4.30 pm.


Preparing patients for their appointment

  • Patients will usually need to attend a series of appointment, for assessment, cast or measurement, delivery and review of their orthosis
  • Once a patient’s condition is stabilised with their orthosis they may be referred back to their local orthotics service for ongoing management if appropriate
  • Please encourage patients to attend with someone who knows them well if they have communication difficulties
  • Ask patients to bring any previous or existing orthoses to their assessment appointment as this can give useful information to guide their future management
  • If the patient has lower limb oedema and they have been referred with lower lower limb problems it may be worth referring them for compression hosiery as the limb will need to be a standard volume before we can usually supply an orthosis.
  • If the patient has an orthosis from their local Orthotics service make sure this has been reviewed before referring the patient to us as often problems can be rectified at local level.


Working with partners

Our team works with Blatchford to manufacture and supply orthotics, prosthetics and other mobility aids. Click here to download a privacy notice detailing how we share data with this third party supplier.

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