Prosthetics and orthotics frequently share comparable service delivery procedures, as well as similar tools, equipment, and working methods, and are thus frequently taught, promoted, and practiced concurrently.
Fremont, CA: The umbrella term "prosthetics and orthotics" refers to the science, technology, education, and application of prostheses and orthoses. Prosthetics is a medical and health care specialty that focuses on the research and development, design, fabrication, and application of prostheses. Orthotics is a similar subject that is involved with the research and development, design, manufacture, and application of orthoses.
Prostheses (artificial legs and hands) and orthoses (braces and splints) enable individuals with physical disabilities or functional restrictions to lead healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives and to participate in education, the labor market, and social life. Prostheses and orthoses can help individuals avoid the need for professional health care, support services, long-term care, and caregivers. Without access to prostheses or orthoses, those who require them are frequently alienated, isolated, and trapped in poverty, which adds to the morbidity and disability burden.
In many countries, governance of the development and operation of prosthetics and orthotics services is minimal or nonexistent, with only rudimentary regulatory frameworks in place. According to a recent survey, only 30 of 197 countries regulated the prosthetist and orthotist workforce. Additionally, this study revealed that there is currently no international regulatory body for prosthetists and orthotists, as there is for a variety of other health and social care professionals, such as World Physiotherapy or the World Federation for Occupational Therapy.
The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) is a multidisciplinary membership organization dedicated to promoting equal access to rehabilitation, mobility devices, and other assistive technology for people with decreased mobility. As a global, multidisciplinary, non-governmental organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals who may benefit from prosthetic, orthotic, mobility, and assistive devices, ISPO facilitates exchange and communication on all aspects of the science, practice, and education related to the provision of prosthetic and orthotic care, rehabilitation engineering, and related fields. ISPO has approximately 3,300 members representing a variety of professional disciplines in over 100 countries. Members include but are not limited to prosthetists and orthotists, as well as prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) technicians, orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthopedic shoemakers, nurses, and biomechanical/rehabilitation engineers.