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Orthotics & prosthetics


Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) services deliver patient centred management across the continuum of care. The service is committed to a high quality service through ongoing staff development, appraisal, teaching, clinical research and adherence to evidence based practice.


An orthosis is an externally applied device used to modify the structural or functional characteristics of the neuro-muscular and skeletal systems. Orthoses may be Prefabricated, Customised or Custom Made. An orthosis is the true term for a brace or appliance that is designed and fitted external to the body in order to achieve one or more of the following goals: 

  • Control or alter biomechanical alignment
  • Protect and support a healing injury
  • Assist rehabilitation
  • Reduce pain
  • Increase mobility
  • Increase independence


A prosthesis is an artificial device attached or applied to the body to replace a missing part (such as an arm or leg following amputation).


An orthotist / prosthetist is the allied health practitioner who has received specialised training and gained a formal qualification at a tertiary level relating to the provision of orthoses and prostheses. Using this specialised knowledge, the orthotist/prosthetist works alongside other allied health and medical professionals to deliver quality health services. 

The orthotist/prosthetist’s role is to assess, prescribe, design, fit, monitor, provide therapy and educate regarding the use and care of an appropriate orthosis/prosthesis that serves individual requirements. 

All CALHN orthotists/prosthetists are eligible for membership of Australian Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA)

Orthotic and prosthetic services

CALHN O&P services are available through the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH), Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre (HRC), Day Rehabilitation Service (DRS) and State wide services – SA Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service and SA Spinal Cord Injury Service. Outreach services are provided to the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN).

The service plays a crucial role in the treatment of inpatients at CALHN sites and aims to assist in early stabilisation and mobilisation of these patients. In addition a comprehensive outpatient service is offered at TQEH with limited outpatient appointments available at the RAH.

The Prosthetic and Orthotics service provides the following:

  • Acute prosthetic rehabilitation – including pre-surgery consultation, immediate post-operative care and peer support.
  • Interim prosthetic program – provides new amputees with fitting of their first prosthetic limb, walking training and education as either in an inpatient at HRC or as an outpatient attending the Day rehabilitation service at TQEH. This service is delivered in a multi-disciplinary environment alongside other health professionals.
  • Definitive prosthetic program – our program delivers lifelong prosthetic services for amputees living in the community with rapid access to other allied health, medical and nursing disciplines as required.
  • Amputee clinic – our amputee clinic is held on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site.  This clinic provides prosthetic and medical review for amputees to ensure their prosthesis is working well and enabling early identification of any adjustments/maintenance that may be required.
  • Orthotic inpatient services – we provide orthotic management for inpatients at the RAH, TQEH and HRC where it is required as part of their hospital stay.
  • Orthotic outpatient services – we provide orthotic management for people living in the community. Orthotic services include assessment and the provision of a device for the management of trauma and injury, diabetic foot conditions, burns and other neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. 


Referrals are accepted from all inpatient specialties across CALHN as well as specialist outpatient clinics, general practitioners (GP’s), allied health clinicians and other health care providers. Some outpatient services are provided on a fee for service basis for the provision of equipment. The orthotic and prosthetic service within CALHN is a registered provider of services through the South Australian Artificial Limb Scheme (SA-ALS), National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS), Lifetime Support Agency (LSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and Work cover. We also partner with a number of NGO’s to deliver community based services.

Outpatient clinics operate by appointment. All referrals are triaged and seen in order of priority or redirected to an alternate provider.

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