Frequently Asked Questions

We've developed a range of FAQs to help answer any questions you may have. If there is something more you'd like to know simply call us on 1300 866 275 or email us at info@oapl.com.au

Prosthetics

What is a prosthetist, and what do they do?

A Prosthetist has a Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics and is involved in the process of assessing, prescribing, fabricating (in some cases), fitting and monitoring artificial upper and lower limb prosthetics for people with limb loss.

What are prosthetics?

Prosthetics are artificial limbs fitted to patients who are missing all or part of their limbs. They can be in the form of upper (arm) or lower (leg) prostheses and are usually required for patients who have lost limbs through trauma, disease or congenital conditions.

What funding is available for my prosthesis/orthoses?

Currently funding for prostheses/orthoses can involve multiple government bodies (state and federal), health insurers and insurance agencies; as well as the ongoing rollout of the NDIS.

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a new program designed to allow Australians with a permanent disability the opportunity to access a new funding model that is tailored to suit their needs.To be eligible for NDIS funding you must:

  1. Have a permanent impairment.
  2. Be aged less than 65
  3. Live in Australia in an NDIS area
  4. Be an Australian citizen

For more information on where the NDIS rollout has currently covered you can visit https://www.ndis.gov.au. Alternatively, oapl can help you with identifying funding options and assist with the application process.

How long will my prosthesis last?

Prosthesis, depending on a range of factors can last up to a few years. The patient care and maintenance of the prosthesis will play a part in its’ longevity as well as the prosthesis function. For everyday use, a prosthesis will last longer than those used in high activity sport.

Can I shower with my prosthesis?

Depending on the type of prosthesis you have, you may be able to shower with it. However, not all prostheses are OK to use in the shower and you are best to speak with your prosthetist for guidance.

What are myoelectric prosthesis?

Myoelectric prostheses are artificial limbs that are controlled by the electrical signals sent down the arm that in turn generate movement in the prosthesis. Often seen as ‘futuristic,’ myoelectric technology is the closest replication to natural anatomical movement. Commonly, myoelectric prostheses are usually upper limb and involve the hand and wrist. However as technology advances, myoelectric prosthesis are being explored for lower limb requirements.

Orthotics

What is an orthotist, and what do they do?

An Orthotist has a Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics. They assess, prescribe, fabricate (in some cases), fit and monitor musculoskeletal bracing as a medical treatment.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are any external body brace or support which can can be used for the alignment of a joint, immobilisation of a body part or to change the weight distribution for parts of the body. Sometimes they are referred to as an orthosis or in the plural, orthoses. A common misconception is that orthotics are just used within patient’s footwear - orthotics are applied to all areas of a patient’s body for corrective purposes.

What funding is available for my prosthesis/orthoses?

Currently funding for prostheses/orthoses can involve multiple government bodies (state and federal), health insurers and insurance agencies; as well as the ongoing rollout of the NDIS.

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a new program designed to allow Australians with a permanent disability the opportunity to access a new funding model that is tailored to suit their needs.To be eligible for NDIS funding you must:

  1. Have a permanent impairment.
  2. Be aged less than 65
  3. Live in Australia in an NDIS area
  4. Be an Australian citizen

 For more information on where the NDIS rollout has currently covered, you can visit https://www.ndis.gov.au. Alternatively, oapl can help you with identifying funding options and assist with the application process.

Do Orthotists just work with feet?

No Orthotists provide orthoses for the whole body.

Are orthotics covered by medicare?

No Medicare does not cover orthotics

Is there a knee brace that can help my knee arthritis?

Yes, it’s called an Unloader Knee Orthosis and it ‘unloads the affected knee joint compartment by slightly changing the alignment of your knee.

Can foot orthoses help my plantar fasciitis/heel pain?

Yes, your orthotist can provide you with foot orthoses, a night orthosis and show you calf stretches to help this condition.

Do I need a referral to see an Orthotist?

No, but some health insurance companies may ask for a referral when you are claiming your Orthotics.