Comprehensive Care: The Full Spectrum Of Orthotics And Prosthetics

The main difference between an orthosis and a prosthesis is that a prosthesis replaces a part of the body, while an orthosis only maintains a position. Continue reading to find out what prostheses and orthoses are and the points to pay attention to when choosing an orthosis. And if you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and we at PrimeCare will answer them.


Many people don’t know the difference between an orthotics and prosthetics, so they confuse things, including healthcare professionals. In a very simple way, the term orthosis is used when the object outside the body corrects the alteration of a limb or the deficiency of a function.

An example is when we have a patient with peroneal nerve damage, in which the foot is dropped due to the lack of innervation of the anterior muscles of the leg. So, to keep the foot in a suitable position, an orthosis is used, which prevents the foot from falling.

Other situations in which we can use orthoses are, for example, in patients with cerebral palsy, stroke, some fractures, and orthopedic problems in the hand, among other situations.



When using an orthosis, we must always pay attention to some important points:

The first is the material it is made of. It must be light, resistant, and comfortable. Typically made of fiberglass or plastic.

The second point is whether its function and the position in which it leaves the body part are adequate;

The third point is whether it is not hurting you or causing pressure points that could cause wounds and bedsores in the future with use. Therefore, it must be well padded, and the patient must remove it after a while to see if there is any pressure on the skin.

Now that you know what an orthosis is, let’s discuss prosthetics.


The term prosthesis is used when it replaces a limb or part of the body. As an example, we have a hip or knee prosthesis, which replaces the worn-out joint in cases of wear and tear on the joint (what we call osteoarthritis) or in the case of very complex fractures.

We also call them prosthetics when the patient has had an amputation and needs a device that replaces the leg and allows the patient to walk without crutches.

So, the prostheses can be placed both inside the patient’s body and outside it. Orthoses are only placed outside the body.

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