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Orthotics Department

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What is an Orthotist?

Orthotists are registered healthcare professionals who specialise in the assessment of the whole body for biomechanical problems and if appropriate may prescribe, measure, fit, or review, an orthosis.

What is an Orthosis?

An orthosis is an externally applied device. It may also be called a ‘brace’, ‘splint’ or ‘orthotic’. The purpose and design of an orthosis may change over time along with the changing needs of the patient.

An orthosis can:

  • Improve function
  • Reduce pain
  • Prevent deformity
The Paediatric Orthotics Department

The Orthotics department is located in Clinic 12 on the ground floor of the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow.

It is the only Orthotics department in Scotland specialising solely in Paediatrics. The core treatment area is Greater Glasgow with many other patients originating from all over Scotland through both regional and national services.

The service is delivered through the Paediatric Orthotic Service Lead and highly specialised Paediatric Orthotists supported by a team of Paediatric Orthotic Rehabilitation Technicians and a Paediatric Orthotic Assistant and a Paediatric Orthotic Administrator.

The term Orthosis comes from the Greek orthós and means to make straight. The Prescription of Orthoses may range across the entire body treating multiple conditions and syndromes including Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Erbs Palsy, Hyper mobility, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Neuromuscular and Idiopathic Scoliosis, Chest Wall Deformity, Plastic surgery, Muscular Dystrophy, CTEV and various Syndromes.

Contact details

Clinic 12
Ground Floor
1345 Govan Road
Glasgow G51 4TF

Telephone: 0141 452 4651 (24hr answer machine available)

The Orthotics Department is open from 8.30am – 4.30pm (Monday to Friday).

Scottish National Services

The RHC Paediatric Orthotic Service is part of a Scottish National Service for both Chest Wall Deformity (Pectus Carinatum) and Spinal Deformity (Scoliosis).

A visit to your Orthotist usually means treatment with bracing.

  • For a Pectus Carinatum Chest Wall Deformity this brace is used.
  • For a scoliosis spinal deformity a spinal brace is used 

What is a National Service?

  • For some complex conditions or some conditions where there are only a small number of patients affected, a Scottish National Service has been developed. This means it is a specialist service that operated from one or two centres in Scotland because of the low numbers and/or complex condition that is being treated.
  • There is further information for both of these services available here:
Short Term Loan Wheelchair Service

The Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) provides a short term loan wheelchair service to help patients get home as easily and quickly as possible after their injury or surgery.

In conjunction with other RHC hospital departments, the paediatric orthotic rehabilitation technicians assess, measure, fit and give guidance on the use of these standard Wheelchairs, which come in various sizes to suit age and size.

We always hope you are able to walk out of hospital but where this is not possible and you have temporary extra mobility needs, the short term loan wheelchair service may be able to help those who are medically ready to leave hospital.

Loans are normally about 4-6 weeks but can be in a range of 1 week-12 weeks.

If a wheelchair is needed for longer than 6 months, a referral to the West of Scotland Mobility and Rehabilitation Centre (WestMARC) must be made.

Parent and carer information resources

Parent & carer information from the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists:

Instructions on how to make a video for your child's foot and ankle assessment:

Patient stories
How using a reciprocal gait walking device helped 6 year old Aiden Kennedy, who has spina bifida, take his first steps. [Daily Record story]
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 02 November 2021

Next review: 02 November 2024

Approved By: RHC Orthotics Department