What are Orthotists and Prosthetists?

Are they the same thing?

Orthotists and Prosthetists have quite different roles but both aim to improve peoples’ ability to move freely.

Although the general public often mistakes one for the other, orthotics and prosthetics are entirely different products. These products have specific designs and functions.

What is the difference?

The difference between the roles can be explained simply by:

  • orthotics can assist an existing body part.  They correct problems or deformities in nerves, muscles and bones with a range of aids.
  • prosthetics are artificial replacements for missing body parts.  They can create and fit artificial replacements for people who are missing a limb.

You can find out more about each different role below:


Are you looking to understand the medical terms used by Orthotists or Prosthetists?  Check out our glossary of medical terms here:

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 Full glossary